Porterdale Police plan bike ride

PORTERDALE -- It was a success last year and it's back for an encore. The second annual Porterdale Police Department Bike Ride will be held May 15.

A special feature of this year's event will be a celebration of Peace Officer's Memorial Day and a tribute to fallen officers across the U.S.

According to PPD Sgt. Jason Cripps, who is organizing the event along with his wife Holly, a brief ceremony will be held between 10:30 and 11 a.m. at Porterdale's Historic Train Depot where Hemlock Street will be closed for the event. A flag will be flown at half staff, "Taps" will be played and the flag will be presented to PPD Chief Wayne Digby.

"We'll have a moment of silence for officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty," Cripps said.

Following the Peace Officer's Memorial observation, riders will depart for a 60- to 90-minute ride through Newton County.

"We'll go around the Square and around the county. The ride will be led by the two motorcycle units with the Newton County Sheriff's Office and Porterdale PD units will be escorting the riders," Cripps said.

The riders will then return to downtown Porterdale where they can choose luncheon fare from area restaurants, including Jimbo's, Baby Cakes, Smiley's, Burnies Barbecue, and the Porterdale Bar and Grill.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. the day of the event. Fees are $25 per rider and $5 for passengers. T-shirts will be on sale for $10 each. "We'll have coffee and biscuits that morning," Cripps said.

Funds raised by the event will be used to purchase safety equipment for the PPD.

Cripps said last year's ride generated approximately $2,400, and the funds were used to purchase bulletproof vests for the seven full-time PPD officers.

During the day door prizes will be given out including police flashlights and knives donated by equipment stores, a painting of a motorcycle by a local artist and restaurant vouchers.

"Canine Beau will be there to say hello," said Cripps who heads up the department's K-9 Unit. He said, however, Beau doesn't have a sidecar, so he won't be able to participate in the bike ride.

Cripps said he'd especially like to thank Police Chief Wayne Digby for his support and his wife Holly who is helping to organize the event.

"She's really gone above and beyond. I really appreciate her," he said.

Cripps said he is hopeful the event will be held annually.

"This is just the beginning. We're trying to get bigger and better every year," he said.