This past week, the Lyndhurst Police Department completed its fifth Police Unity Tour as “Team Lyndhurst” as the Tour itself marked its 20th anniversary.
The Tour’s mission is two-fold: to raise awareness of those police officers who have died in the line of duty and to fundraise for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Tour protocol calls for participants who bike from their home base to Washington, D.C., to pledge to raise a minimum of $1,850 to ride and Team Lyndhurst collected a bit more than $10,000 this year, according to LPD Officer Paul F. Haggerty, one of this year’s riders.
“Over the past five years, we’ve raised approximately $55,000 to benefit the Tour,” Haggerty said.
This year, Haggerty said, Team Lyndhurst rode for the four Lyndhurst police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty: Capt. George Cassidy, killed by a gunshot in 1907; Officer William Sparta, the fatal victim of a physical assault in 1918; Officer Charles Liddle, a motorcycle accident victim in 1933; and Officer Thomas Albino, a gunshot victim in 1947.
This year, Team Lyndhurst riders Officers Steven Passamano, Richard Jasinski and Haggerty were joined by Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer Frank Scardino Jr. and Nutley Public Safety Telecommunicator Nicholas Haggerty who were riding for the only Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer to be killed in the line of duty, Officer Joseph J. Rybka Jr., and for Nutley resident/9/11 victim Lt. Robert D. Cirri of the NY/NJ Port Authority Police Department, who was a close family friend.
“We were the only South Bergen town to participate [in this year’s Police Unity Tour],” Paul Haggerty said.
– Ron Leir