Members of the End of the Watch Ride to Remember will log over 23,000 miles across the country this summer to honor the more than 600 police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“End of Watch” is the traditional term used by police dispatchers to honor a fallen officer.

This week, they honored Horry County Police Lance Cpl. Melton "Fox" Gore on Tuesday and North Myrtle Beach Sgt. Gordon Best on Wednesday. Both men died in January 2021. 

End of Watch ceremony 2

Members of the End of the Watch Ride to Remember will log over 23,000 miles across the country this summer to honor the more than 600 police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. “End of Watch” is the traditional term used by police dispatchers to honor a fallen officer. This week, they honored Horry County Police Lance Cpl. Melton "Fox" Gore on Tuesday and North Myrtle Beach Sgt. Gordon Best on Wednesday. Both men died in January 2021. 

Gore, 56, worked with the county's environmental services team and died after he was struck by a vehicle when he stopped to clear debris from the road on Jan. 12, 2021.

Best, 30, lost his life on Jan. 1, 2021, when his patrol car wrecked while he was heading to a call.

Those who honored the fallen officers are part of a group based out of Spokane, Washington, made up of motorcycle riders and other staff members who drive a supply truck and a 40-foot trailer that bears the photos of all the honored men and women.

In front of the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Building Wednesday, a large crowd of Best’s family, friends and officers from multiple agencies heard city police chief Tommy Dennis praise Best and all officers who put their lives on the line every day.

Beyond the Call of Duty is the nonprofit group that organizes the ride each year that begins and ends in Spokane. The ride began on June 1 and will cover the 23,000 miles in 79 days.

Group founder J.C. Shah is the chairman and founder of Beyond the Call of Duty. The former deputy sheriff said all of the fallen officers depicted had two things in common — they wore a uniform and their blood was red.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re black or white, man or woman,” Shah said. “They and all the officers and first responders currently serving deserve to be honored and all of them are heroes.”

Prior to Wednesday's service, staff member Jorge Espinoza, a former federal officer, climbed a ladder to let Best’s children Blakely and Braxton get an up close look at their dad’s picture on the side of the group’s trailer. It is Espinoza’s second year with the tour.

Espinoza said the ride members will often times travel and work 12-16 hour days in order to visit more than 200 departments during the 79-day trek.

End of Watch ceremony 3

Members of the End of the Watch Ride to Remember will log over 23,000 miles across the country this summer to honor the more than 600 police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. “End of Watch” is the traditional term used by police dispatchers to honor a fallen officer. This week, they honored Horry County Police Lance Cpl. Melton "Fox" Gore on Tuesday and North Myrtle Beach Sgt. Gordon Best on Wednesday. Both men died in January 2021. 

Richard Rogers from Georgia drives the trailer and is in his first year with the ride. His wife is a retired police officer.

“To me, it’s an honor and privilege to be able to drive this trailer with all those photos on it,” Rogers said. “These are true heroes.”

In addition to making stops across the country to honor the fallen officers, Beyond the Call of Duty provides scholarships to some children of fallen officers and also donates a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to a police department each year.

Sheila Leslie said the scholarships provide funds for the extra expenses students incur.

“Harley-Davidson donates a motorcycle each year,” Leslie said. “We have a panel that evaluates applications from departments across the country to come up with the annual recipient. Last year, the motorcycle went to the Mt. Holly, North Carolina police department.”

Leslie said the annual ride is underwritten by sponsors and from donations.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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