Cold weather is bringing motorcycle season to a close, but some St. Paul motorcycle officers are on a mission to honor a fallen friend, and their plans are just heating up.
"The fall is the nicest time to ride 'cause it's nice and cool," said Officer Matt Arntzen. "Fresh air, leaves on the trees -- it's great."
Although the weather is changing, the duties don't for the St. Paul motorcycle officers. Each day until the snow flies, they'll give up the comfort of a squad car to make sure drivers follow the rules of the road -- but they also want to hit the road to remember an officer who died in February.
"As far as a motor officer goes, that's the ultimate honor," Arntzen explained.
Officer Josh Lynaugh died of a heart attack after chasing a teenager on the city's east side. His uniform still hangs in the locker room at the Eastern District headquarters, where he worked as a patrol officer.
"Tore me apart. We all thought everything was going to be ok and it just turned for the worse," Officer Craig Campbell recalled. "It shows you anything can happen at any time."
Now, all 7 officers in the motorcycle unit want to travel to Washington, D.C., to escort Lynaugh's family to the National Law Enforcement Memorial when his name is added to the wall next May -- but the officers must pay their own way.
"To lead your brothers to put your brother's name on the wall, I don't think words can describe it," Campbell said.
For the men who ride iron horses, bringing a bit of St. Paul to the wall is all in the family.
"They're not going to know anyone else. What they'll have in common with other families is: They lost someone. So, for us to be out there and support them and have a familiar face, that will help them greatly," Arntzen explained.
The officers plan to throw a fundraiser at O'Gara's, located on Snelling Avenue, next month to offset the costs of the trip. Anyone who would like to help can find more information at the link below.