Pedaling with honor: Jail administrator rides for fallen deputy Curt Felt
In June 1978, Jackie Notch was only 11 years old. She doesn't remember much about the day a Douglas County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty.
But as she grew older, she learned a little bit about 23-year-old Curt Felt through her brother and sister who were friends with the fallen officer's two brothers. She learned even more about the deputy when 10 years after the shooting, Notch herself became a Douglas County deputy.
In 1988, she was hired on as the first female road deputy for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. In 1999, she became a sergeant and since Oct. 1, 2007, Notch has been the Douglas County jail administrator.
Now, 40 years after Felt's death, Notch will be riding her bicycle in honor of the fallen deputy.
Road to Hope
A friend of Notch's, who is a Dakota County deputy, asked Notch if she wanted to participate in a bike ride for fallen officers. Because this year marks the 40th anniversary of Felt being killed in the line of duty, Notch told her friend she would do it.
"She told me it would be no big deal, so I said yes," Notch said.
It was only after committing to the ride, called "Road to Hope," that she learned that it covers 250 miles in three days - no easy bike through the park.
It starts in Chesapeake, Virginia, on May 10, and ends in Washington, D.C., on May 12. The event is a kick off for Police Week, which runs May 13-19.
The Road to Hope ride is put on by Law Enforcement United, which raises money and awareness for C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors). C.O.P.S. provides support to the surviving family members of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty; raises money for the Officer Down Memorial Page, which is an organization dedicated to honoring America's fallen law enforcement heroes.
In order to participate in the ride, Notch will be raising $1,500. That money will go to Law Enforcement United.
"We are raising money to help the survivors of fallen officers," she said.
Notch has to pay for her airfare and meals on her own. She has set up a GoFundMe page, Biking for Curt Felt, to help her raise the $1,500.
Notch said she is honored to be able to participate in the ride for Deputy Curt Felt and that it is her hope that the Douglas County community never forgets who he was and the sacrifice he made.
"I just want people to always remember Curt," she said.
Related story: The day Curt Felt died