It is an ordinary job for Ortiz Bros. Moving & Storage (1304) and Atlas Van Lines to haul motorcycles and bicycles from coast to coast. However, it’s an extraordinary job when the move consists of 24 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) motorcycles and over 300 road bikes making their way to New Jersey for the Police Unity Tour.
In May, the fleet of bikes was hauled from Los Angeles to Somerset, NJ so riders could participate in a three day, 285 mile long ride. Nearly 310 cyclists, mainly law enforcement officers, rolled through Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. on the Police Unity Tour. They ride to raise money and awareness for police officers who died in the line of duty and the National Law Enforcement Memorial built in their honor.
The unique link between Atlas and the Police Unity Tour is Eric Ortiz, co-owner of Ortiz Bros. Moving & Storage and Reserve Police Officer with the LAPD. Eric was part of the LAPD motor unit on the tour, helping keep cyclists safe as they entered cities or crossed busy roads and intersections.
“It was very special to act as a protector to the men and women riding in memory of their fallen comrades,” Eric said. “Each cyclist raised $2,000 to participate in the tour, which goes toward The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the building and maintenance of one of the only memorials in Washington D.C. that will never be completed.”
The Police Unity Tour ended on May 12, which fell during National Police Week, with the riders parading a few final miles up to the memorial, greeted by fans honoring them for their dedication.
“The motto of the Police Unity Tour is ‘we ride for those who died.’ You really learn the meaning behind that while riding those 285 miles and pulling up to the memorial. People were holding signs remembering a fallen officer or offering support and appreciation to the riders,” said Eric.
At the conclusion of the tour, fellow Atlas Agent Paxton Van Lines (1610) was happy to help get the motor unit back to Los Angeles.
“The operations staff at Paxton Van Lines had the distinct privilege of providing logistics support to the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department,” said Rick Allison, General Manager at Paxton. “Paxton employees are grateful for the service provided to the community by these individuals and were honored to provide facility staging and preparation for the vehicles’ return to L.A. I speak for all Paxton employees in thanking these officers for their consistent dedication to public safety.”