This Holiday Season Remember Our Fallen Law Enforcement Officers and the Families They Have Left Behind
So far this year, 158 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty* in America and, sadly, this number will probably rise before the year is through.
During this holiday season, Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc., a national non-profit headquartered in Camdenton, MO, dedicated to rebuilding shattered lives of the surviving families, would like everyone to remember those law enforcement officers who are gone and the families they have left behind.
“The men and women who wear the law enforcement uniform lay their lives on the line every day so that you and I can walk the streets here in America feeling safe and protected,” says Jean Hill, National President, who became a police survivor on December 4, 2000, when her son, Harris County Deputy Sheriff Barry Hill, was killed in the line of duty.
“Unfortunately, there are some who make the ultimate sacrifice. These men and women are America's heroes. They got up that fateful day, told their families goodbye and fully expected to return home that night. However, that was not to be. Now their families are grieving with pain they never knew existed.”
Organized in 1984, C.O.P.S. assists the surviving families, promotes officer safety and increases public awareness of the dangers in the law enforcement profession and the sacrifices made by law enforcement families. C.O.P.S.’ membership consists of nearly 15,000 surviving households nationwide. The funds raised support C.O.P.S.’ programs including the National Police Survivors’ Conference held during National Police Week, Parents Retreat, Spouses Retreat, Siblings Retreat, Siblings Retreat, In-Laws Retreat, Adult Children’s Retreat, C.O.P.S. Kids Camp, C.O.P.S. Teens Outward Bound Experience and scholarships for survivors which are awarded several times per year.
“Since its inception in 1984, C.O.P.S. has increased its services to it membership. And, unfortunately, this year, our membership will increase by more than 160 families. To continue to provide the healing support to so many families, C.O.P.S. really is in need of additional support from the Americans who appreciate what law enforcement does for us each and every day. We hope during the first holiday season for the 2007 surviving families, that Americans will remember the selfless sacrifice of these heroes and help C.O.P.S. take care of their surviving families,” said Suzie Sawyer, C.O.P.S. Executive Director.
Hill says that experiencing “the first” of any special day is extremely difficult for the survivors to get through but it seems like the first holiday season without their loved one is the hardest.
“I would say to each of them this holiday season to dwell on the happy memories you have of your officer, spend time with family and friends who lift your spirits, laugh if you feel like laughing, and cry when you feel like crying. Gradually, the pain softens but, trust me, it never goes away because the love we have for our officer never goes away.”
Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) is the organization that provides emotional support for every family member of that officer. It's the organization that believes healing has to begin immediately; therefore, it reaches out immediately. C.O.P.S. is the resource to rebuilding the shattered lives of these grieving families and it takes the financial support of the public, corporations, and our law enforcement community to rebuild these lives. Without this financial support, C.O.P.S. would not be able to help our survivors during their darkest hours.
To donate to C.O.P.S. this holiday season, visit their website nationalcops.org or contact them at 573-346-4911.