GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – As National Police Week approaches, two Colorado State Patrol troopers are training to ride in this year’s Police Unity Tour — a nearly 300 mile bicycle ride into Washington D.C.
Trooper Bellamann Hee is one of them.
“I needed to be prepared to either have a prosthetic or no leg,” Hee said.
Four years ago, Hee was nearly killed attempting to stop a suspect in a high-speed chase.
The driver was traveling upwards of 100 mph when he hit Hee as he was trying to place stop sticks in the road.
“They had to put a titanium rod in not once, but twice. Also there’s a metal plate and a titanium plate that basically held my ankle together with about 12 screws in the heel,” he said.
It took nearly two years before Hee would get back on the job. One of his biggest supporters during that time was fellow trooper Jaimie Jursevics.
“She wanted me to get back on duty with her so we could hunt DUIs and prevent people from hurting themselves or others,” Hee said.
He planned to go back to work on Nov. 15, 2015, but doctors told him he was not ready.
That very night Jursevics was killed by a drunk driver.
“JJ 4801, that’s her badge number. Every time there’s a hard climb or a difficult path all I have to do is look down and it just inspires me more,” he said, referring to a sticker he’s got on his bike’s frame.
Her death and his own experience motivated Hee to take on a new challenge — representing the Colorado State Patrol on Team Colorado with Trooper Roy Cherry in this year’s Police Unity Tour. It’s a ride honoring fallen law enforcement officers from across the country.
“I want people to know that I’m riding for Trooper (Cody) Donahue. I want them to know my drive and my commitment to honor him. It also helps drive me,” Cherry said.
Together Hee and Cherry have clocked countless hours and even more miles training.
For Hee, the ride — and reason behind it — paired with his own experience have led to a new perspective on life.
“And how important it is to be alive and well and to have a purpose in life,” Hee said.
Team Colorado will join more than 2,000 others as they ride into Washington D.C. next month.
The tour is first to raise awareness about the number of officers killed every year and second to raise money for the fallen officer’s memorial and museum.
At the Police Unity Tour Donations website you can contribute to Team Colorado. Just enter a team member’s name to do so.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.