The Kern County 999 Foundation held its 12th annual Officer Down Ride Saturday.
The ride started at the Original Roadhouse Grill on Rosedale Highway. From there, 360 motorcyclist made their way downtown to the Law Enforcement Memorial in front of the courthouse.
The foundation works to raise money for officers and families of officers killed or injured in the line of duty.
“That’s the ultimate sacrifice,” said foundation president Bryon Sandrini. “Those guys that go to war, these law enforcement officers on the streets in this nation are going to war and trying to protect the innocent and trying to protect those families, those people that just want to sleep comfortable at night.”
Among the riders were six motorcycles from the Oxnard Police Department.
Last year, OPD Officer James Langford was participating in a training exercise on Highway 58, just five miles east of San Luis Obispo County Line with 11 other officers. According to California Highway Patrol, Langford hit a curb on a turn, lost control, went off the road and hit a burm. He was flown to Kern Medical Center with severe head trauma where he spent several weeks in ICU.
Langford is now home recovering with his wife and kids.
“Throughout the entire time we just had overwhelming support,” said OPD Sgt. Ricardo Vazquez. “Not only from all the agencies here, but also from the community. Without them I don’t know what we would have done. Obviously outside of our element and they just treated us like special guest.”
Vazquez said they plan to be back fro next years ride with more OPD officers.