In 2001, a group of determined police officers, led by Det Ron Tetreau (Ret.) and Det Tony Wood (Ret.) came up with a unique idea to support the families of fallen officers--to walk approximately 450 miles from Rhode Island to Washington DC. They called the mission simply, "Copswalk," and set out toward the hallowed grounds of the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial. Sixteen years later, Copswalk is still moving...
Copswalk is a multi-day, round-the-clock relay. Typically consisting of 12-13 officers, the team is divided into rotation groups of three. Each rotation covers twelve miles and there is a group on the move at all times. Naturally, safety is our primary concern.
A single runner is guarded by a trailing marked police cruiser with
emergency lights activated. The third member of the group is the navigator.
The runner completes his 4-mile stretch and the group rotates positions.
As the third runner completes his leg, the group should arrive to the staging
area where the rest of the team has been resting and refueling (and telling
war stories). Without delay, the next team begins a new twelve mile section
and the support vehicles move forward 12 miles down the pre-planned route to the next staging area.
This continues for 3-4 days until we reach the city limits of Washington DC--approximately 450 miles--stopping only when severe weather or other hazardous circumstances make the effort too dangerous. There are only a few areas that cannot be traveled due to local traffic regulations.
The Woonsocket Police Copswalk has donated well over $160,000 to the Concerns of Police Survivors, making it one of the highest single-agency donors to the Concerns of Police Survivors in the country. Starting in 2015, Copswalk directed its attention to our own local New England Chapter of C.O.P.S.. In 2017, Copswalk presented a donation to NECOPS in the amount of $35,000!
Every year in America, more than 100 law enforcement officers are killed in the line-of-duty. We believe the best way to honor these heroes is to acknowledge their sacrifice long after the final salute has been given, and to take care of their families. By running from Rhode Island to Washington DC, we are afforded a highly visible opportunity to accomplish our goal.