NEWINGTON - Police from across the state will gather in Churchill Park on Sunday to honor one of their own.
The 13th annual MPO Peter Lavery Memorial Ride will be held in memory of Newington Master Police Officer Peter Lavery, killed in the line of duty on Dec. 30, 2004 while responding to a domestic violence incident. Proceeds will benefit the Peter J. Lavery Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has awarded over $113,000 in scholarships since its inception.
“Ours is one of the very few rides that have so much police support,” said Pamela Lavery, the officer’s widow. “They keep our riders safe. It’s something that’s really, really appreciated.”
Master Police Officer John Aselton organizes the police motor units who escort the ride. Thirty to 50 usually participate. He takes the lead.
“Peter was one of the senior officers when I was hired - one of our first motor officers here,” Aselton remembered. “He was a mentor to me. I looked up to him.”
When Aselton’s brother Brian, an East Hartford police officer, was killed in the line of duty in 1999, Lavery was there to support the family. Every year until his death he participated in the Brian Aselton Memorial Motorcycle Ride, marking its 20th year in June 2018.
The Lavery family will travel near and far to take part in the ride, which will take place rain or shine.
Raymond Lavery will be riding his father’s bike, a Honda Goldwing painted in his memory.
“My kids have never missed it,” Pamela said. “It’s a big family thing.”
Her niece, Susan Lavery-Halerio, will kick off the morning by singing the national anthem.
It’s never rained on a ride day, as long as the family can remember. It’s a joyous event to keep alive the memory of a man who is missed by many.
“Every year he’s certainly there in spirit, I have no doubt about that,” his wife said. “I miss everything about him; he was just a huge part of my life. We shared everything.”
The route heads through Newington, Berlin, Rocky Hill, Cromwell, Middletown, Portland, Glastonbury and Wethersfield before returning to Churchill Park. In addition to the support from police, local businesses will sponsor the picnic and entertainment portion of the event, which begins around 11:15 a.m. when riders return.
Registration will take place from 8 to 9:45 am. All law enforcement supporters on all makes of motorcycles are welcome. A donation of $20 per bike is requested.
For more information visit PeterLavery.org.
Official 2017 Lavery Ride T-shirts are available at Connecticut Police Supply, 105 Fenn Road, Newington, and Gengras Harley-Davidson, 221 Governor St., East Hartford.