Local officers in the C.O.P.S. ride and support team are shown in front of the Illinois State Capital Police Memorial in Springfield. Shown are Capt. Will Dimitroff, Granite City Police Sergeant Eric Stacy, David Parks of the Cyclery, Granite City Capt. Chris Blair, retired, and Officer Jacob Custer of the Alton Police Department.SPRINGFIELD - Madison County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Will Dimitroff and several other riders who started in Alton are off to a good start on day two of the Illinois C.O.P.S. Ride.

Multiple area riders are participating in the C.O.P.S. Ride this year. The ride began in Alton and ended in Springfield on Thursday night. By Friday night, the riders will be in Peoria. On Saturday, Day 3, the ride continues from Peoria to Naperville, and on Sunday, Day 4, from Naperville To Woodstock. Day 1 was 92 miles, Day 2, 106 miles, Day 3, 122 miles, and Day 4, 50 miles.

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Dimitroff was interviewed during a brief ride break Friday morning and said it was a rainy day on Thursday and the riders had to spend time getting everything dried out after the first day.

“I feel really good after the first day,” he said. “There are some amazing riders here; everybody really prepped for it. We did 92 miles on the first day and planned 102 on the second day.”

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The C.O.P.S. Charity Ride raises money and awareness for the Illinois Chapter of Concerns Of Police Survivors, which includes the surviving family members, loved ones, and co-workers of fallen officers. This ride has become an annual journey for the riders, especially those who are survivors. During the ride, the participants will be in the presence of families, homes, and departments of fallen police officers.

“We will respect the privacy and confidentiality of our survivors,” the C.O.P.S. Chapter Ride officials said. “We ride and work together as a team. Our support drivers, escort officers, and ride captains are responsible for coordinating and protecting the ride, and riders will follow their lead. Since we will be approximately 60 riders, we will ride as a pack and will do our absolute best to remain on schedule. We expect to maintain an average speed of 12-17 mph.”

Dimitroff commended David Parks of the Cyclery as one who was fixing flats and other problems for riders along the way the first day. Dimitroff said his efforts meant everything to the riders. “We couldn’t do it with him,” Dimitroff said.

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