ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Over fifteen hundred motorcyclists came out to support Bikes for Badges, a fundraiser for the three fallen officers of St. Petersburg.
Alan Grinaldi, a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy, is riding for a friend.
"It’s a sad reason to have to come, but you want to come because you want to be supportive to not only the officers who made the supreme sacrifice, but you want to show those that are still here that you care," said Grinaldi.
Grinaldi remembers his friend fondly and the similar paths they took.
"We grew up going to boy scouts together, we went to high school together, he joined the military, I joined the military," he said.
"It does matter what type of loss it is when you lose another member of law enforcement, the pain is felt across the country,” he continued.
Bikers each carried their own personal message to police officers throughout the streets of St. Petersburg.
"I don't think officers get enough support, they need to get more. We're out here to show it to them to give them all the support that we can give them," said Ward Kalmbach.
Many were not afraid to show their feelings for the three St. Petersburg officers who died in the line of duty in just the past two months.
Marie Middleton was one of them.
"We cried. I mean it hurts it hurts us badly. I mean it hurts a lot of the community because we know that they protect us and take care of us," said Middleton.
Ward Kalmbach agrees.
"When they are coming down the road, I respect everyone of them."
For Grinadi, he will never forget his friend. "I think about him every day. When I put my uniform on, and when I take it off."
All the money raised will go directly to the widows of the three fallen St. Petersburg officers.
Whether it was a friend or a stranger, all these riders say the officers are in their hearts after sacrificing their lives for their community.
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