First but not last: Shisler Legacy Ride to be annual event

Joseph Metz/The Sun
Pennsauken police officers arrive at Harbaugh Village in Mullica Hill during the first Shisler Legacy Ride.

The Rolling Badges Motorcycle Club of former law-enforcement officers hosted the first of what will be the annual Shisler Legacy Ride on May 4.

The event honors fallen Deptford officer Robert “Bobby” Shisler, who passed away last May, two months after sustaining injuries in the line of duty.

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The ride featured hundreds of motorcycles and several Jeeps, according to club president Les Whinna, along with bike patrols and police officers from several local departments, including Pennsauken, West Deptford and the state police.

“Although the weather failed us, those that supported officer Shisler and his family yesterday showed up large for the cause and didn’t care less,” said Whinna the day after the Legacy Ride. “The police motorcycle units and the many other departments that showed up was big,” he added, referring to the state police, Margate, West Deptford and Deptford K-9 units.

“The fire departments that showed and hung flag in the route was impressive.”

Participants included other motorcycle clubs such as the Hogs and Heroes Foundation, close friends and family of Shisler and strangers who wanted to simply pay their respects.

The event began at Deptford High School, Shisler’s alma mater, where participants competed in a poker run, receiving a card at several stops in the region before concluding at Riverwinds Community Center in West Deptford.

After that, the ride made its way to Harbaugh Village in Mullica Hill. Shisler’s patrol car – number 535 – was driven by his brother Tyler, also a Deptford police officer. It was greeted by a hanging American flag connected by two township firetrucks.

At the village were food trucks, live music from the classic rock cover band Peabody’s Wayback Machine, lounges and a large tent where a 50/50 raffle took place. Among the event’s attendees were Harrison Township Mayor Louis Manzo and Deputy Mayor Lawrence Moore.

“Considering what the motivation is, the loss of officer Shisler while on duty, it was something that affected the whole region and other law enforcement,” Manzo noted. “In the past, we’ve had stops here for the Ride to Washington, which honors all fallen first responders, and I think it’s awesome.

“With officer Shisler, it really motivated people to have a good turnout.”

“As a first responder,” said Moore, “as a volunteer firefighter, hearing of his (Shisler’s) death was devastating. Because even though I’m a firefighter, he’s a police officer. We’re all on the same team. It’s tough to hear when one of our own suffers a loss.”

The Rolling Badges Motorcycle Club already has plans in motion for next year’s Shisler Legacy Ride.

“In today’s world,” Whinna observed, “not everyone is a fan of the police. In fact, a police officer is shot in this country every 23 hours. You would have never known by yesterday’s turnout (for the ride) and the eclectic group of riders. So many LE (law enforcement) clubs, military clubs and citizens who rode in the rain to honor this officer.

“I am meeting with my board and the Shisler family to pick the 2025 date,” he added. “This is a yearly event. The 4 Heroes Charity and the Rolling Badges Law Enforcement Club will never forget.

“Next year, let’s make it 1,000 vehicles.”

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