TPD officer rides in “Road to Hope” to honor fallen brother in blue


TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)- A Tupelo Police officer will pedal hundreds of miles to honor a brother who was killed in the line of duty.

Tupelo Police Captain Bruce Dodson spends 8 hours a day working as a narcotics officer.

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On his off days, Captain Dodson will soon be riding his road bike for up to 8 hours, preparing for the “Road To Hope” Memorial Ride.

“A group called Law Enforcement United, sponsors a bike ride every year where they ride from New Jersey to Washington DC, over three days, during police week,” said Capt. Dodson.

The ride raises awareness of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Captain Dodson will be riding in memory of Sergeant Gale Stauffer.

The Tupelo officer was killed answering a bank robbery call, two days before Christmas in 2013.

“Gale was an excellent officer, he was always squared away, he was in the military also, always fun to be around, we both had kids to we talked about things like that,” Dodson said.

Dodson was contacted by Sergeant Stauffer’s widow, Beth, about taking part in the 250 mile plus bicycle ride to honor Gale and his legacy.

The Road to Hope also provides financial support for Concerns of Police Survivors, or COPS.

That organization comes alongside those who have lost an officer in the line of duty, providing counseling, and other programs, including a kids camp, for children who have had a parent in the police force, killed in the line of duty.

This past summer, Sergeant Stauffer’s son, Skip, caught his first fish at the COPS Kids Camp.

Stauffer’s mother says she is overwhelmed at Captain Dodson’s commitment to ride in her son’s memory and honor, while helping other families who share a tragic and common bond.

“Just last summer there were 173 children at Kids Camp, ages 6 to 15 and that tells you the breadth and depth of what happens in our country,” said Debbie Brangenberg, Stauffer’s Mother.

The Ride to Hope takes place during National Police Week in May.

Captain Dodson has run several half marathons, but training for a 250 mile bicycle ride is something new.

But he plans to train hard, and complete the task, in honor of a colleague and friend gone too soon.

The ride also benefits the Officer Down Memorial page and the Spirit of Blue Foundation.