For 84 days, a group of motorcyclists from Washington state escorted a 41-foot trailer covered in 338 faces of fallen men and women of law enforcement from all over the United States.
One of the faces is a 25-year veteran of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Sargeant Keith Allison, 52, of Brentwood, who died of COVID-19 in December of last year.
The End of Watch Ride to Remember made its way to the Riverhead Correctional Facility in Riverside on Wednesday, where Allison’s family and dozens of his fellow officers gathered to witness the tribute.
“His family was his first passion, but this was definitely a close second, his family here with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department,” his wife Brenda Allison said, through tears. “I know his name carries on — I know Keith is looking down and saying, ‘All this for me? No way!'”
Started by the organization Beyond the Call of Duty, the mobile tribute honors police officers throughout the nation who died in the line of duty.
This year, the group recognized officers who lost their lives while servicing their communities in 2020, some of whom contracted COVID-19 as first responders couldn’t quarantine.
The Washington-based motorcycle riders began their over 22,300-mile journey on May 28 and plan to finish on Aug. 19.
JC Shah, founder and chairman of Beyond the Call of Duty emphasized that the more than 30 officers honored on the ride were not just heroes in uniform, but heroes their whole lives to their families and friends.
“They all have three things in common: one is that all of them have a God-given name, not a number, the second is they all wore a beautiful uniform of one sort or another, whether it was white, blue, black, green, and the third, which is the most important is God allowed one color, which is red — the color of our blood, not black, white, or brown,” said Shah.
Inv. Sgt. Allison began his career with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office in 1995. After a short time working as a correction officer at the Riverhead Correctional Facility, he moved on to the Personnel Investigations Bureau where he conducted background investigations and interviewed new employees, both uniformed and civilian.
He served as a Commanding Officer of the Personnel Investigations Bureau and was later promoted to Investigator Sergeant in 2018.
The Sheriff’s Office also announced at the memorial in Riverside Wednesday that the department will be naming its Personnel Investigations Bureau building after Allison.
“He never really liked the accolades and all that, he was very humble about it — there were times he would get awards, I’d have no idea and he’d just come home with a plaque,” Brenda said. “He did everything from his heart and it was evident in the lives that he touched, if you knew him you always felt like his best friend.”
Scroll down to view photos from Wednesday’s tribute ceremony.
Top: An End of Watch Ride to Remember volunteer consults with Brenda Allison during Wednesday’s tribute.