Three local groups will host the "Back the Blue Benefit" memorial ride next weekend to benefit the families of Officer Kennis Croom, Deputy Brad Johnson and Deputy Christopher Poole.

The Black Warrior Chapter of Alabama's Protectors Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, The Regulators Motorcycle Club's West Alabama Chapter and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6022 will present the event next Saturday, August 6.

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Croom, a Tuscaloosa native, was shot and killed in the line of duty in Meridian, Mississippi last month.

Bibb County Sheriff's deputies Johnson and Poole were both shot by a suspect in a stolen vehicle weeks later. Poole survived the shooting, but Johnson was critically wounded and died in a nearby hospital.

Dustin Cline, one of the event's organizers, said the ride will begin at the VFW Post located at 7001 University Boulevard East in Cottondale. Participants will ride to the Bibb County Courthouse, where memorial reefs will be laid for the officers, before returning to the post where live music, silent auctions, 50/50 drawing and raffles will take place.

Registration for the event will begin at 9 a.m. and kickstands will go up at 10:30 a.m. Vehicle and rider fees are $20.

The groups will sell barbecue plates for $10, as well as crawfish and shrimp plates for $20.

Shirts are also available for pre-order and local businesses have sponsor options to have their business featured on the shirt.

The proceeds from the event will be split between the three families. Cline said a special presentation of the proceeds will be done for the families in the coming weeks after the ride.

Cline, vice-president of Protectors LEMC, said the event seeks to support law enforcement and first responders who risk their lives to serve the public.

"We strive to give back to the community and help out the brothers in blue and other first responders," Cline said. "We're going to help them as much as we can."

Donations can be sent through the following methods:

  • Paypal- Protectorslemcbwp
  • Cashapp- $protectorsbwchapter
  • Venmo- 205-534-8718 (Memo: BTB)
  • Zelle- 205-534-8718 (Memo: BTB)

Anyone needing additional information should contact Cline at 205-534-8718.

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