Supporters hold appreciation ride for members of law enforcement

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Posted at 6:57 AM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 22:24:19-04

CURRITUCK Co., N.C. -- Neighbors in cars, motorcycles and a number of vehicles are expected to line up at the ferry docks in Currituck and drive through several counties Saturday for an appreciation ride for law enforcement.

The organizers told News 3 this ride is to show that members of law enforcement are still appreciated. It is in response to the tumultuous moments across the nation where cities are looking into police reforms for their respective police departments.

The appreciation ride is open to anyone who would like to be a part of it. One organizer said it does not matter if you have a car, motorcycle or even a truck.

"The community still supports the police officers, without them the community would be in trouble. There's a lot of good people on the force,” Michael Boyce, a co-organizer, said. “These people do worry every day when they go to work. We all know, we've got friends and they convey to us that this is troubled times for them, so they're dealing with stress that we don't see."

Boyce made 11 metal American flags, which will be presented to 10 local agencies and one selected officer. They also said the ride is to emphasize the community and how the community came together to make this possible.

Charles Bright, another co-organizer, said riders came from near and far.

"We've got people that are coming from Virginia, we've got groups coming from far away, from Greenville here in North Carolina, the Outer Banks,” Bright said. “Everybody that, when I first started talking to people about this, as soon as I said, they said, 'Yes, whatever we can do to help this, we want to be a part of this. Count us in.'”

The appreciation ride started Saturday morning from the Currituck Ferry Docks. Motorcycles and cars started lining up at around 9:00 a.m., an hour-and-a-half before the 10:30 start time.

One of those riders was Leonard Gibbs, a retired Elizabeth City firefighter, and current EMS responder. He is also president of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club.

"The situation that's going on right now is bad. Not all law enforcement is bad," Gibbs said. "So far I've had a good relationship with everybody in our area.">

Another rider was Roy Hankinson. He said it was "heartwarming to show people do care," as he said he has relatives in law enforcement.

"I went into law enforcement and I've got a brother who's a cop, Maryland State Police," Hankinson said, "and a nephew who's also a state trooper. we do care what they do. they put their lives on the line every day."

The ride made its way through several counties with stops along the way. One of those stops was in Elizabeth City.

Eleven metal American flags were presented to 10 local agencies and a selected officer. The playing of taps and the national anthem commenced the ceremony and the riders took off to continue their ride onto the last stop -- Edenton.