Bike ride honors Lt. Cliff Rouse, the first Dougherty Co. police officer shot and killed in the line of duty
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Friday, law enforcement and community members are tuning up their motorcycles — preparing to take part in a bike ride remembering Lieutenant Cliff Rouse.
Rouse was the first officer in Dougherty County history to be shot and killed in the line of duty. The family is encouraging the community to participate on Saturday, Sept. 23, which makes this year a bit more significant.
“It’s so tragic that these men leave their homes to go to work, and you think they’re coming back, but they don’t make it back home,” Lt. Rouse’s mother, Jennifer Rouse, said.
Lieutenant Cliff Rouse was just four hours into his 12-hour overnight shift on Dec. 23, 2010, when he responded to an armed robbery call. Tragically, it was the last call he would work. For years, law enforcement and the community have come together each year to support the Rouse family as they ride in memory of Rouse.
“They have always accepted us as a part of their family now, even though some of them never knew him. There’s a memorial that hangs at the Dougherty County Police Department right outside the door. So I think when all those officers walk outside the door to go on patrol, my son has their back,” Jennifer said.
Rouse says the death of her son has left her daughter-in-law as a young widow, raising two children. She says they couldn’t have made it through the years without community support.
“Over the last 10 years, the Lt. Cliff Rouse Memorial Ride has donated $239,000 to the Georgia Cops Foundation, and we hope tomorrow’s event will have enough money from those proceeds to reach a quarter million,” Jennifer said.
According to Jennifer, this year is going to be a bit more special as they have items to auction off, including guns and diamonds and a dinner to follow. The money will support other families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.
“We have a deep-sea fishing trip, we got a quail hunting trip, we got a river cruise, diamond earrings, all this was donated by supporters, and its clear profit for the Cops Foundation when all this is through with,” Jennifer said.
This year the foundation has changed the venue to the Albany Museum of Art.
The ride will be on Sept. 23, 2023, at the Albany Museum of Arton 311 Meadowlark Dr. Albany, Georgia from 12-2 p.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. It’s $25 for riders and $15 for passengers. It includes a T-shirt, dice rolls, door prizes and $5 extra roll.
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