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Motorcycle memorial honors police officer killed in Catonsville

Chuck Schneider never worried about his son, Jason, as he led Baltimore County SWAT team raids, because his oldest child "was born to do the job."

But even for officers who put in 101 percent, the work can be dangerous. So instead of hanging out with his son as he once did on summer weekends, Chuck Schneider found himself Saturday morning on a Harley Davidson motorcycle leading a pack of other riders in memorializing Jason Schneider.

Jason Schneider was a 13-year veteran on the force when he was killed in an exchange of gunfire during a raid on a Catonsville house in August 2013. The married father of two and former Marine became the first Baltimore County officer killed by gunfire since 2000.

His dad, also a former Marine and a retired Baltimore police sergeant, used the memorial ride to remember the full life his son lived. Jason Schneider was a workout fiend, who met his fitness director wife, Ericka, at a local gym, and was the leader of the family who gathered everybody together for get-togethers, his dad said.

Schneider was also a leader among his SWAT team colleagues and participated in hundreds of missions to apprehend violent crime and gun offenders, in hostage barricade situations and drug warrant operations. Jason Schneider loved his job, his dad said.

"It was his passion in life," Chuck Schneider said. "He put his all into it."

The American Legion Riders Post 200 in Hampstead organized the ride to help raise money for Jason Schneider's family, who lives in Manchester, and honor the lifesaving work he did both as a police officer and Marine. They were supported by other American legion chapters.

"He gave the ultimate sacrifice," said John Horner, director of the American Legion Riders Post 22 in Towson, which supported the ride. "We get to do what we do today because of people like Jason. Because of his dedication we can live freely and walk out our doors without fear of being harmed."

The roar of more than 100 motorcycles drowned the air at the American Legion as the riders revved up for take off at 10 a.m. The procession snaked through Hampstead and into Baltimore County, where riders stopped at Patriot Plaza in Towson to pay their respects at the Baltimore County Fallen Heroes Memorial. The group then headed back toward Carroll County, where they passed Jason Schneider's childhood home before ending at the American Legion offices.

All registration and sales of patches honoring Jason Schneider will go to his family, who are also now members of the American Legion.

Ericka Schneider said she was honored by the show of support and hoped the donations would help her children pay for college one day.

"We definitely still miss him everyday," Ericka Schneider said. "But it's nice to know we have so much support."

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