NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A group of Lowcountry bicyclists pedaled from Mount Pleasant to North Myrtle Beach Friday to honor three Grand Strand police officers who died in the line of duty.
“To me it’s humbling. It’s a brotherhood,” North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Tommy Dennis said.
The 109 mile journey up Highway 17 started in Mount Pleasant at 6 a.m., before they finally arrived right before 5:30 p.m in North Myrtle Beach.
Dennis said he’s thankful for each and every mile.
“I tell a lot of people we hate it but we’re making it you know,” he added.
Law Enforcement United Organizer Sgt. Darren Raley led the group up the coast.
“All of us feel it here in the Lowcountry, it’s kind of unheard of to see something that dramatic in a short period of time,” Raley said.
So on Friday, they went the distance. They cycled to each department and delivered wreaths for the fallen officers.
Starting with Myrtle Beach, they stopped at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center. There they had a ceremony and honored Myrtle Beach police Pfc. Jacob Hancher. Hancher was only 23 years old when he was shot and killed in the line of duty in October.
Next, the group met up Horry County police. They stopped off Highway 22, in memory of where LCpl. Melton Fox Gore lost his life earlier in January while removing debris from the roadway. The group presented a wreath to the department as well.
Horry County Police Chief Joe Hill said this ride is about coming together.
“Well it’s like the unity tour. And what it does is signifies that we are a big brotherhood. Whether you’re in Horry County, or anywhere else in the Pee Dee or anywhere in the state of South Carolina, you got folks that got your back, and that’s what these folks do,” Hill said.
Finally, they ended at the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety building where they honored Sgt. Gordon Best.
Best died in a car crash on Jan. 1 while responding to a call for service.
Raley said as they made their way up the coast, the memory of their sacrifice keeps them going despite the miles.
“Once it becomes uncomfortable and that word quit, I hate saying it, that person, that officer did not quit. He ultimately sacrificed his life for his job. I’m willing to bet that they wish they could be riding and I want to take that spirit in me and ride those miles,” Raley added.
Dennis said it’s support from the community but also their brothers and sisters in blue, that make it possible for his department to heal.
“Speechless about all of this, there’s really no words to describe everything that’s happened. It’s been a rough couple of months and to see the support that we’ve got, I say it a lot I guess but we’re blown away by everything.”
The cyclists from Law Enforcement United are part of many Lowcountry police departments as well as the State Law Enforcement Division.