DENTON — Caroline County Career and Technology students from the Chesapeake Culinary Center served lunch to more than 300 law enforcement officers who stopped Monday, May 11, at the Denton Volunteer Fire Company as part of the Police Unity Tour bicycle ride for National Police Week.

Police Unity Tour is a national event, raising awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and raising funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum. The law enforcement members riding to Denton came from Police Unity Tour Chapter 2 and 10 of central and southern New Jersey.

The riders began their journey Sunday afternoon in Atlantic City and are scheduled to arrive Tuesday morning at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 law enforcement officers from around the country will be participating in this week’s ride for National Police Week.

The food prepared by the students included sausage, salad and side dishes.

“The food is fantastic,” said Courtney McDevitt, Police Unity Tour Chapter 2 executive board secretary. McDevitt served for seven years on the Stockton University police force. “We cannot thank the students and Denton enough for their support. It means everything to us. We have to rely on certain towns. Denton opened its doors and welcomed us with open arms. It is great seeing people sitting on their porches waving to us and thank us as we ride by. The support is overwhelming.

“The culinary school in Denton gave us this opportunity,” she said. “We didn’t know this was available. It is a great opportunity for them and for us on both ends.”

McDevitt said the Police Unity Tour picked a different route to Washington and found Denton during its search.

“They offered it to us, and we took them up on their offer,” she said. “They are great to work with. We appreciate all they did for us on our ride.”

McDevitt said she was forced to retire after being injured on the job.

“We ride for those that died in the line of duty, and for those who have been injured,” she said. “There are so many who sacrificed their lives serving the community. This is for them. This is in their honor.”

Denton Fire Chief and town councilman Dennis Porter said Monday’s event is a great way to honor National Police Week.

“Firefighters and police both serve in the public safety sector,” he said. “We want to show unity with the police officers and honor National Police Week. Chesapeake Culinary Center is a good partnership for the students to meet police officers and see they have a life outside of that patrol car.”

Caroline County Food Service Operations Manager Samantha Figueroa said the opportunity to provide lunch for the police officers is awesome for Caroline County Public Schools and Denton.

“It is a chance for us to showcase the Chesapeake Culinary School while giving something back to the community,” she said. “We want to show how much we appreciate and care about our police force. We have a lot of family members that are part of the police.”

The Police Unity Tour was organized in May 1997 by Officer Patrick P. Montuore of the Florham Park Police Department, with the hope of bringing public awareness of police officers who have died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices.

The ride started with 18 riders on a four-day fundraising bicycle ride from Florham Park, N.J., to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington and raised $18,000. In 2015, there are more than 1,800 members nationwide. The Police Unity Tour has raised about $16 million since its inception, according to the organization’s website.

For more information about the Police Unity Tour, visit policeunitytour.com.

Follow Caroline/Dorchester Editor Dustin Holt on Twitter @Dustin_StarDem.

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