By: Tricia Harte
FOX 59

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (FOX 59) -- Monday morning, more than a dozen cyclists embarked on a 13-day journey across Indiana.

The 16th annual Cops Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride honors officers killed in the line of duty, and offers support to the families they left behind. The organization started in 2012, but the inaugural 13 day tour didn’t start until 2012.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb launched the annual ride from the Police and Firefighters Memorial outside the statehouse. His wife, First Lady Janet Holcomb, is joining the cyclists.

“It’s what we as Hoosiers are, we’re one big family. It’s a small world and we come together in trying times and in times of need,” said Holcomb, “and that’s why it’s so special not just for the family members but the force.”

Active officers, as well as civilian participants, will tackle roughly 1,000 miles of terrain via bicycle. The ride raises funds to be used for support scholarships, camps and events held in honor of fallen officers.

Monday, riders will make two honor stops. The first, at the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department, and the second at the Howard County Sheriff’s Department to pay tribute to Deputy Carl Koontz. Deputy Koontz was shot in the early morning hours of March 20, 2016 while trying to serve out an arrest and search warrant.

Cops Cycling For Survivors aims to keep the memories of fallen officers, like Deputy Koontz, alive, and make sure their families are cared for.

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