On Saturday, April 5, the Utah Peace Officers Association will host the second-annual Utah Fallen Peace Officer Trail Ride. The trail was unveiled last year and honors Utah’s fallen peace officers.
“The 14-mile ride pays tribute to fallen officers in the state of Utah that have lost their lives in the line of duty or have been seriously injured,” Utah State Parks Lieutenant Tony White said.
The Fallen Peace Officer Trail is a 14-mile off-road loop located north of Moab on U.S. Hwy 191. In 2010, Utah State Parks Ranger Brody Young was shot nine times during a routine traffic stop near the Poison Spider trailhead on state Route 279. Young survived the attack and afterward was approached by Ride with Respect about naming the 14-mile loop after him.
“Brody declined, but with his assistance, the committees from Ride with Respect, Utah Peace Officers Association, and the Utah State Parks started strategizing to develop a trail for honoring those who actually lost their lives in the line of duty,” White said.
The day-long event, which is open to the public, starts with a memorial ceremony at 9 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the trailhead.
“There will be speakers, music, a 21-gun salute, and flag ceremony,” Utah Peace Officers Association president Del Schlosser said.
Attendees can park at the Dalton Wells parking lot and ride a shuttle bus. The bus will take people to the ceremony site. No other parking will be available at the actual ceremony site.
The trail rides start at 10:30 a.m. Riders will be broken into groups and every 30 minutes a new group will be allowed onto the trail. The last group will depart at 5 p.m. The morning groups will include motorcycles, ATVs, and UTVs. Afternoon groups will include Jeeps and other related vehicles. The event requires pre-registration, which can be done at: http://www.upoa.org/fallen-trail-ride/registration/.
The backcountry trail is graded as moderately difficult and riders navigate through rocky washes, steps, slickrock, and sand. All riders are encouraged to wear a helmet, protective gear and have the necessary skills and equipment for off-road riding.
Along each mile of the trail, a different fallen officer is honored.
“Every year we honor 14 different officers,” White said. “The board of directors goes through and reviews line-of-duty death files and they try to take a couple of officers from each of the different agencies. They pick some that are historical and some that are current.”
The fallen officers will also be honored in the Fallen Peace Officer Trail Honor Corridor and Solemnity Walk. Located at the trailhead, attendees can walk through 14 different stations paying tribute to the fallen officers, their families and their agencies.
“Essentially, there are 14 stations at the main venue and the 14 officers honored at the trail are honored at main event with a patrol car, information, uniforms, and officers from their agency,” White said.
The Honor Corridor and Solemnity Walk will be open from 8 a.m. to 5p.m.
Proceeds from this event are being used for college scholarships. The number of scholarships awarded depends on the funds raised each year, but Schlosser is projecting between four and six scholarships will be awarded this year.
“The scholarships go to officers who have been injured or to family members of those who have fallen,” Schlosser said. “It can be used at the school of their choice.”
The Utah Fallen Peace Officer Trail Ride is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.
“The Utah Peace Officers Association is very appreciative of the local support: businesses, hotels, restaurants, donors. It has been extremely humbling to see the local support for our event,” White said.
Trail honors officers killed or seriously injured in line of duty
“Every year we honor 14 different officers. The board of directors goes through and reviews line of duty death files and they try to take a couple of officers from each of the different agencies. They pick some that are historical and some that are current.”
What: Tribute to peace officers killed or seriously injured in the line of duty
When: Memorial Ceremony on Saturday, April 5 at 9 a.m., rides beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Fallen Peace Officer Trailhead, U.S. Hwy 191 mile-marker 141
Cost: 10:30 a.m. To 3:30 p.m.: Motorcycles $20, ATVs $30, UTVs $40. 4 to 5:30 p.m.: Jeeps or similar vehicles $50; Proceeds fund scholarships for families of fallen officers