A 60-mile motorcycle ride to benefit the families of two Portland police sergeants who died less than a year apart will be held this Saturday.

Westbrook Police Chief Janine Roberts is organizing the 10th annual Sgt. Rob Johnsey/Sgt. Rick Betters Memorial Motorcycle Ride.

Roberts, who was a lieutenant in the Portland Police Department on May 6, 2008, when Johnsey, 37, died of an accidental gunshot wound to his femoral artery, said that all of the proceeds raised from the ride will go directly to the officers’ wives to use as they need to support their families.

Johnsey left behind a wife and two children. Betters, 52, who died Jan. 14, 2009, of a heart attack one day after a tactical call-out, also had a wife and two children. In the past, their families have used the donations to pay for winter heating bills, car insurance for a teenage driver, back-to-school supplies and contributions to a child’s college fund, Roberts said.

There will be a safety briefing before the motorcyclists depart from Parker’s Restaurant at 1349 Washington Ave.in Portland at 11 a.m. Saturday, according to Roberts.

Riders will drive through Portland, Westbrook, Gorham, Standish, Sebago, Bridgton and Harrison before arriving at their destination: Gary’s Olde Towne Tavern in Naples. Registration fees are $20 per driver and $10 per passenger.


“This is a police motor-escorted ride. … Once riders pick their feet up at Parker’s, our goal is they don’t put them down again until we arrive at Gary’s,” Roberts said in a statement.

As for Roberts, she plans to ride to Naples on her 1997 police issue Harley-Davidson Road King, which she purchased in 1998. Roberts said her interest in riding motorcycles dates back to her teenage years when she rode her brother’s bike.

“I was immediately drawn to the openness and feeling of freedom as I traveled down the road,” she said in an email. “I have ridden as a police officer, on and off, for over 30 years.”

In past years, the charity ride has raised between $2,800 and $3,500. Raffle prizes will be given out following the ride.

“The memorial benefit ride is an awesome opportunity to bring good people together to raise funds for our fallen heroes’ families,” Roberts said.

Saturday’s event will be the last of the annual memorial motorcycle rides, according to Roberts.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:


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