DALLAS -- "When you're on that motorcycle, there's no texting, no phone calls, no email," said Dallas Police Department Deputy Chief Vernon Hale. "You can clear your head and think, contemplate on life and, at the same time, bond with these folks."
Nearly 100 motorcycles revved up and were ready to roll for a worthy reason.
"This is a fundraiser," said Officer Down Foundation CEO Willie Ford. "All the funds go directly to the Officer Down Foundation, and this is a way that we can give back to the officers during times of need."
The sweet chorus of bikes signaled the foundation's 3rd Annual Motorcycle Ride. The reason for it was to raise money for the many officers pushed from their posts by injury or illness.
We've seen plenty of police officers who need that support in the Metroplex this year, headlined by the continued fight of Fort Worth Officer Matt Pearce and the line of duty death of Euless Officer David Hofer.
This ride was only raising money for the Dallas PD and Dallas ISD, but the sentiment stays the same.
"It just shows unity, unity for everybody," said Dallas Officer Glenn Johnson. "It shows everybody coming together as a family to take care of everybody else."
It's also a chance for cops to connect to the community.
"These are not strictly law enforcement officers," Ford said. "In fact, the majority of them probably aren't law enforcement officers. That's what I'm seeing. The community's come out to support us, and we want to support the community."
In the end, the ride is a sign of how times change. The Officer Down Foundation is part of the Black Police Association, a group that had to meet in secret when it first started in 1975. Now, they're raising money by revving up, and it's certainly not a secret.