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Northeastern police officers to honor Sean Collier

Eleven Northeastern University police officers will participate in a 65-mile bike ride on Sept. 11 in honor of Sean Collier, the M.I.T. police officer who was killed in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. The cyclists will pedal from Providence, R.I., to Boston, concluding at the Marathon finish line on Boylston Street.

Dubbed “Sean’s Ride,” the journey will serve as the final leg of the Tour De Force, an annual bicycle ride that honors 9/11 victims and supports families of officers killed in the line of duty. On Sept. 8, some 250 cyclists will depart from Ground Zero and bike from New York City to Providence, where they’ll meet up with Collier’s crew.

Each cyclist must raise at least $250 by Aug. 28. “It’s for a great cause,” said Brian Nocerino, a Northeastern police officer who organized his department’s participation in the ride. “We feel for every officer who’s killed in the line of duty.”

Collier’s death hit especially close to home. Like the fallen M.I.T. officer, several members of the Northeastern police graduated from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police Academy. Officer Jason Persampieri had a closer relationship with Collier, meeting him at a holiday party last year. “He was a really nice guy,” he recalled. “I wanted to participate in this ride to show the camaraderie between officers.”

Persampieri is prepared to pedal. “I’ll have to get a really comfortable seat,” he said, “but a bit of pain is nothing compared to what Sean sacrificed.”

To donate to individual participants, please contact Brian Nocerino at b.nocerino@neu.edu or visit http://www.tourdeforceny.com/home.php.