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Blue and brown ride for green



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Law enforcement from all over the area join forces to raise money for Deputy Keith Palmer. Photo by Megan Collier (click for larger version)
October 20, 2010 - A traveling hoard of over 50 bikers hit Lake Orion streets, Saturday, Oct. 16, but they weren't rabble-rousers.

In fact, they were pretty well behaved, considering the bulk of riders were area Sheriff's deputies and police officers.

The group of brown and blue law enforcement were on a mission to make some green for one of their own, Deputy Keith Palmer.

Palmer, an Oakland County Sheriff's deputy, was injured while riding his own motorcycle, Oct. 8 -- his first day of retirement from the force.

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Palmer worked for Oakland County Sheriff Department (OCSD) for 28 years and was on his way home after a retirement party when a woman, who officials believe was asleep at the wheel, struck Palmer's leg, completely severing it at the knee.

For the time being, Palmer is recovering at Genesys Medical Center in Grand Blanc, where the mass of biker cops started their fund-raising ride last Saturday.

They made their way to Lake Orion by noon, ending at Leo's Coney Island, where staff took donations for the newly formed Deputy Palmer Fund.

Anyone who would like to make donations can do so at Lakes Community Credit Union in Lake Orion, which checks payable to "Deputy Palmer Fund." All proceeds go directly to the Palmer family for medical and living expenses.

Checks can also be mailed to Lakes Community Credit Union, P.O. Box 99, Lake Orion, MI 48362. The credit union can be reached at 248-814-4000.

"Imagine the tragedy -- this was the first day of the rest of his life," said Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh of Palmer's accident. Narsh and several other Lake Orion officers rode with the group that Saturday, alongside LO dispatcher Krista Miri-Lester, Oxford Deputy Maki and Orion Township Deputy Ernie May, who got the ball rolling on the ride.

Ed Hook, an area man credited with saving Palmer's life by applying a tourniquet at the scene of the accident, also joined the officers and deputies.

Palmer's family declined speaking with the media, but his wife, Cheri, and their children pass on immense gratitude to the biker's efforts and those who've made donations and offered players.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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