After Utah State Parks law enforcement ranger Brody Young was shot multiple times in 2010, members of the Moab advocacy group Ride with Respect sought to create and name a trail after Young, who survived the attack.
“He graciously declined,” Ride with Respect Executive Director Clif Koontz said. “He wanted it to honor those who did not survive, and he came up with the name Fallen Police Officer Trail.”
Each year, motorcyclists, ATV riders, Jeepers and side-by-side vehicle drivers participate in the Utah Fallen Peace Officer Trail ride to honor peace officers who have died in the line of duty. That includes officers who, after investigating methamphetamine labs, contracted unusual types of cancers associated with the chemicals used to make meth, said Lt. Del Schlosser of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, and board chair of the Fallen Peace Officer Trail Ride.
“We of the Utah Peace Officers Association feel (the cancers) were duty-caused, and should not be forgotten,” Schlosser said.
This year’s event will begin on Saturday, April 21, at 9 a.m., with a ceremony at the Old Spanish Trail Arena, 3641 S. U.S. Highway 191. The ceremony will honor officers who have been injured and survived. Honorees include historic figures from 100 years ago.
The ride itself starts at 11 a.m. at the trail just north of the Dalton Wells turnoff off Highway 191 north of Moab. It raises money for scholarships for the children and spouses of those who died.
“Revenue raised beyond expenses goes to the Brody Young Scholarship Fund to provide small educational scholarships,” Koontz said.
“Last year, we raised enough to give five or six scholarships, of $2,010 each – 2010 was the year that Young was injured,” Schlosser said.
Ride with Respect developed the trail six years ago.
The group worked with land managers to mark a loop trail from a network of old mining roads, repairing sections of the trail that had erosion damage. The trail was also expanded out of a rocky wash bottom to make a smoother, more scenic and longer route – paid for with a grant from Utah State Parks, with support from Grand County and Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA).
To change up the ride from previous events, this year, participants will ride the trail loop counter-clockwise. Four Ride with Respect volunteers will act as trail marshals to give support if needed – for a flat tire, for example.
The ride is open to the public. People can sign up online through Friday, April 13, or on the day of the event at the Old Spanish Trail Arena, but they’re strongly advised to book in advance to guarantee ride times.
April 21 event raises money for families of law enforcement personnel
“Last year, we raised enough to give five or six scholarships, of $2,010 each.”
When: Saturday, April 21, at 11 a.m.
Where: Fallen Peace Officer Trail, north of Moab off U.S. Highway 191
Cost: $20 for motorcyclists; $50 for Jeeps
For more information, go to: www.upoa.org/fallen-trail-ride/.