National memorial ride for fallen officer kicks off in Dallas

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Officers from across the country will come together for a 1,700-mile relay ride to Washington D.C. in honor of fallen heroes.

The ride will start in Dallas Saturday around 6 a.m., carrying significant meaning after the July ambush that killed five police officers: DART Officer Brent Thompson, Dallas Police Department officers Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Sergeant Michael Smith and Corporal Lorne Ahrens.

A wreath was laid at El Centro College for those officers who lost their lives that night.

"Being in California and watching what the community of Dallas suffered on July 7, it does ring home because you don't just lose officers,” said LAPD Officer Dave Budek. “These officers live in the communities in which they serve."

"When the event happened in Dallas, that hit home to us even though we're in Fort Worth,” said FWPD Officer Brad Herle. “What happens in Dallas happens in Fort Worth also. We're part of the same team."

“This past year has been extremely difficult for law enforcement, particularly here in Dallas,” said Lou Turriaga with the Los Angeles Protective League. “And that's why we wanted to choose this as our launch point. Because when there's suffering in Dallas, there are ripple effects out to Los Angeles all the way out to New York."

One Dallas officer and one Fort Worth officer will join the ride that will also stop in Baton Rouge, where three officers were also murdered in an ambush attack just 10 days after the Dallas shootings.

The ride will end in Washington, D.C. next week for the National Police Week events and will join other officers for a candlelight vigil.

Not only did Dallas Officer Todd Lafleur grow up near Baton Rouge, but he was also close friends with Sergeant Michael Smith.

"It's something you can't refuse. I mean, when you take this job, we all work together for a common cause for the good of the community,” he said. “And when something tragic like this takes place, it hits home for every law enforcement officer."

The officers will arrive in Baton Rouge Sunday and will have a similar wreath ceremony. They expect to arrive in DC by next Friday.