Trooper aids cyclists in honoring fallen

Riders honor Lt. Gary Dudley of the Indiana State Police at his burial place. Dudley was integral to starting Cops Cycling for Survivors. He and retired Chief Gary Martin of the Lake County Police Department were killed during the 2006 ride when a large box truck struck the rear of the officers' support truck, pushing it into cyclists. (photo courtesy Cops Cycling for Survivors)

 

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

When Hoosier cops participating in a 900-mile bike ride pedal into Dubois County on Thursday there will be one familiar face.

Dick

But Indiana State Police Sgt. Chad Dick from the Jasper Post will not be on two wheels. Instead, look for him in the “Big Truck” hauling the participants’ gear around the state during the entire 13-day tour.

“I do whatever needs done basically to keep them going,” Dick says.

His title during Cops Cycling for Survivors might be logistics chief but he and the guy in the truck with him — retired Capt. Mike Kellems of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department — will answer to water boys or SAG guys, an acronym standing for Support And Gear.

The goal of all the active and retired police officers, survivors of fallen law enforcement officers and friends of law enforcement is to raise money and awareness about the sacrifices made by Hoosier law enforcement families in Indiana.

The money raised by riders since 2012 has gone to more than two dozen survivor support organizations.

Dick is beyond proud to be in the Big Truck because it is important to the event on multiple levels. Jasper Engines and Transmissions donated the special truck to Cops Cycling for Survivors. Dick says the SAG vehicle serves as a memorial to officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Each year the truck gets wrapped with the names and faces of those officers from Indiana that were killed in the line of duty the year prior,” Dick says.

The vehicle wrap also includes names of officers killed in the last 125 years and any K-9s that have been lost in the line of duty.

“We keep a good supply of Sharpies in the truck and, as we travel around and meet survivors, supporters and friends of law enforcement, they can leave a message, draw on it, sign their name — whatever,” Dick says.

Riders look to the truck and those messages throughout the ride for encouragement and reminders as to why they are on the ride, Dick says.

“This is such a great organization that does so much for our surviving families across the state,” Dick says. “It is an absolute honor of mine to be able to assist them.”

Dick is married to Carrie (Denney) Dick, a former police dispatcher and administrative assistant who has been the director of the Older Americans Center at the Arnold F. Habig Community Center the last nine years. He has been with the state police more than 22 years, 20 of them in Jasper. He is a veteran of police critical incident stress debriefing teams and served for about a dozen years on an Indiana Fraternal Order of Police Critical Incident and Memorial Team.

He grew up in Kentland, in Newton County, the son of a state trooper. That upbringing also meant he grew up around Lt. Gary Dudley of the Indiana State Police.

Dudley and retired Chief Gary Martin of the Lake County Police Department were integral to getting Cops Cycling for Survivors going.

On Aug. 22, 2006, Lt. Dudley and Chief Martin were both killed during the ride when a large box truck struck the rear of the support truck, pushing the support truck into the cyclists. Cyclists who had participated in the ride for many years and were cycling the day of the crash were determined to keep Lt. Dudley and Chief Martin’s memories and motivation alive. The group, whose motto is “Riding to Remember,” says those memories and motivation have developed into what the ride is today.

This year’s pedaling throng began today’s ride in Madison. They will trek from Jeffersonville to Huntingburg on Thursday.

“The great folks from the Southeast Dubois School District allow us to say overnight at Cedar Crest Intermediate,” Dick says.

“We will go to Buffalo Wings & Rings in Jasper by vehicle for dinner that night and on Friday we will push off toward Princeton.”

Friday will start at the Subway restaurant in Huntingburg where Dick says the manager and her crew “do an amazing job feeding us breakfast before (we leave) Dubois County to continue the journey around the state.”

The ride will conclude Saturday, July 21, at the Crown Hill Chapel’s Heroes of Public Safety Memorial in Indianapolis.

 




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com