Sergeant Pedaling to Honor Slain Cop
(By D'Arcy Norman, Creative Commons)
The Daily News
May 14, 2011
Earlier this week, Western Kentucky University Police Department Sgt. Craig Sutter began pedaling his way across Virginia in honor of his late friend, Eddie Mundo, a LaGrange Police Department officer killed in the line of duty in 2003.
Sutter is among about 400 officers riding in the 250-mile Law Enforcement United charity ride from Chesapeake, Va., to Washington, D.C., today through Thursday. The ride raises money for the Officer Down Memorial Page and Concerns of Police Survivors, a peer support organization for family and friends of slain police officers. Sutter is the only rider from Kentucky.
Mundo’s widow, Brandi Mundo of Louisville, was touched by Sutter’s gesture.
“It was a complete surprise,” Mundo said.
“That’s so sweet of Craig to think of Eddie after all these years,” she said. “It really makes you feel like you are still part of the law enforcement family.”
Sutter has been preparing since last summer for the three-day ride. He is part of Team Nashville, riding with four Metro Nashville police officers and an officer from the Vanderbilt University Police Department. Sutter raised nearly $1,500 for the organizations benefiting from the ride.
“The money that’s raised goes to a good cause,” Sutter said. “If something happened to me, I know that these organizations help families out, and I know they would be there for my wife and little girl.”
Mundo said the COPS peer group has helped her and the couple’s 9-year-old son cope with their loss.
“My first experience with COPS was the day my husband died,” Mundo said. "It just really helps to know that you are not the only one.
“I really can’t stress enough how they have helped me heal,” she said. “We always say, ‘You don’t ever get over it, you just get through it,’ and COPS has helped me get through it.”
The organization also works with the children of slain police officers. Her son looks forward to the COPS camp every year.
“It’s beneficial for kids to know that there are other kids like them who don’t have a parent,” Mundo said.
Sutter, a WKU graduate and a native of Louisville, will end his ride Thursday afternoon at the Pentagon, where an arrival ceremony will be held. Mundo plans to be at the finish line.
The National Police Week event honors the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. National Police Week runs from Sunday to May 21.
Mundo plans to leave Kentucky on Wednesday to participate in the week’s events in Washington, D.C. She is a board member of Kentucky COPS.
Sutter is hopeful that the ride he and others make will raise awareness about officers killed in the line of duty and how that loss affects families.
Donations may still be made online at www.lawenforcementunited.org.