COLORADO — I invite you to come along on this year's SHIELD616 border-to-border bicycle ride it's an amazing way to see Colorado.
This is the 4th year doing this ride, and while there are similarities every year I'm learning that each year takes on a life of its own. This year's ride is a life experience I will never forget, for far more than just the incredible journey.
SHIELD616 riders started this year's 480-mile Border-to-Border ride on Wednesday, September 7th, for a 5-day event to raise awareness and funding for the Colorado Springs-based organization's mission to help first responders by providing protective gear.
SHIELD616 has been helping first responders across the country since 2015 and since its inception and according to their website the organization has raised over $15 million to buy equipment for first responders.
The 2022 ride was especially meaningful following the death ofEl Paso County Sheriff Deputy Andrew Perry in the line of duty just weeks before the ride.
Ahead of theSHIELD616 border-to-border bicycle ride this week across Colorado, both Sheriff Bill Elder and Fountain Chief Chris Heberer sat down with me to try and discuss the loss of deputy Peery and the impacts on their departments.
As a former Colorado Springs police officer, SHIELD616 Founder and President Jake Skifstad, knows the most difficult challenges being a first responder brings.
“We as law enforcement, are expected to protect you from whatever threat there may be," said Skifstad. "If it involves a rifle, we don't have protection against that.”
After having experienced some close calls during local active shooter incidents, Skifstand realized that Southern Colorado law enforcement needed better protective gear. SHIELD616 may have been formed out of local tragedies but has now become a nationwide effort to protect those in the line of duty.
The Border-to-Border fundraiser ride began when Chaplain with the Colorado Springs Police Department, Cary Katalin approached Skifstad with the idea.
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