November 24, 2008
Community Remembers Fallen Officer
“There is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about Ron,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson J.D. Callaway, as he talked about his friend and longtime colleague on the force Ronald “Ron” Harrison, the veteran Hillsborough County sergeant who was killed by a gunman while sitting in his patrol car on his way home from work in Brandon last summer.
That Harrison is greatly missed by many and has never been forgotten was once again evident as the Brandon community came together and made the necessary preparations to hold the Second Annual Memorial Motorcycle Ride for Harrison in early November. The event benefitted MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), an organization that Harrison was deeply involved with while serving on the force.
The event was sponsored by a number of local businesses and organizations in the community such as Harley-Davidson/Buell of Brandon, the Blue Knights of Florida XXVII, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Beef ‘O’Brady’s of Seffner, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the University of South Florida Police Department and the Plant City Police Department.
Callaway said, as it was true last year, this occasion brought together between 200-300 riders and a great mix of people from the community.
“We are more than happy to help and be a part of supporting this annual event on behalf of Harrison, both with our donation as well as offering our store as a kick off point,” said Harley Davidson/Buell of Brandon Marketing Assistant Britni Buss.
MADD Hillsborough County Victims Advocate Becky Gage, also one of the riders — although only on the back of a bike — was thankful for all the sponsors, businesses and individual riders who took part in the event.
“It is a great honor to take part of such an occasion,” she said.
Gage also said that the event was quite timely as the late Harrison was recently named the Top DUI Law Enforcement Individual for 2007 during the National MADD conference held in Dallas, Texas.
MADD chapters around the state regularly hold fundraisers in support of its programs and services. Anyone interested in learning more about fundraisers such as the Annual Memorial Ride for Harrison, which supports MADD Hillsborough County, can call 273-6233.
Anyone wishing to financially support MADD at the grassroots level may mail donations directly to its local chapter. The office of MADD Hillsborough County is located at 1107 E. Jackson St. in Tampa.
For more information about MADD, please visit www.madd.org.chapter/1200.