Category Archives: Funeral

End Of Watch Folder Planning Guide

End of Watch. EOW. The final call. It’s not something that we want to think about. You prepare and train in hopes of preventing it. You exercise, eat right in hopes of pushing it back, but it’s something that will happen to all of us (on duty or off). How do we prepare?

Some organizations have guidelines for a Line of Duty death. Maybe some help you prepare for how to minimize the impact it will have on your family. No one wants their family to have to make the arrangements, so here is a checklist to help minimize the confusion surrounding our End of Watch. This was written by Wives Behind the Badge, Inc, but this could just as easily apply to Fire, EMS or even non-responders (AKA, the rest of us).

Note: Keep in mind that just because YOU know where things are, it is likely no one else will. Have this information in DETAIL. Specifics. When you say the “desk drawer”, you might know it’s the bottom left, but your grieving family may now or forget in all the confusion and grief. A little pain for you to make it easier for them.


Table of Contents (showing what documents are in the folder and listing important documents stored elsewhere)
II. Copies of forms filed at the office/department (for example – CHP Forms 102 and 611B)
III. Contact Sheets
      A. Department/Agency/Union contacts (direct lines and cell numbers)
      B. Family contact list (including who you’ve chosen as your family spokesperson) *make sure to note who is to take care of your children in the immediate and the long-term.
      C. Friend contact list *make sure to note who needs to be contacted right away and how you would prefer they be contacted.
      D. Other contacts (insurance agents, lawyers, accountants, estate executor, etc)
IV. Legal Documents
      A. Last Will & Testament
      B. Advanced Health Directive
      C. Trust
      D. Power of Attorney
      E. List of locations for deeds, titles, insurance policies, etc.
V. Financial
      A. List of all bank, credit, and investment accounts (including usernames and passwords and PINs)
      B. List of all safe-deposit boxes and locations of keys
      C. List of insurance policies (with policy numbers and contact information) that includes a benefit amount breakdown for each
      D. List of local, state, and federal LODD benefits *note – the state and federal benefit information can be found at www.nationalcops.org
      E. Copies of forms showing beneficiaries for life insurance policies
VI. Other
      A. List of all online accounts (email, etc) that includes usernames and passwords
      B. List of all important serial numbers (guns, electronics, vehicles, etc)
      C. List of other important numbers (social security, passport, driver license, etc)
      D. List of important passcodes (safes, alarm codes, etc)
      E. List of guns you own, their locations, and any notes about them
      F. Other important notes for your spouse/family (ex: on caring for your home or animals, etc)
      G. Personal letters to family & friends
VII. Final Arrangements
      A. Type of services desired (funeral, memorial, wake, viewing, rosary, burial, graveside, cremation, etc)
      B. Preferred mortuary & cemetery
      C. Preferred Officiant (chaplain, minister, pastor, priest, rabbi, other) & their contact info
      D. Preferred musical selections(Note: Don’t say “Our Song”. State it specifically as this list may be handed off to others for help. Remember, the idea is no guessing for your family.)
      E. Preferred eulogist and speakers
      F. Preferred charity contributions
      G. Pall bearers, if applicable
      H. Preferred Law Enforcement Protocols (honor guard, etc)
      I. Letters to be read at services


Thanks again to Wives Behind the Badge, Inc.

If you have some tips to add, comment or let me know.

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Funeral of Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper

I just wanted to write a note about today’s events. I know it’s long, but it’s worth the read.It was an exhausting day, physically but more so emotionally.

I arrived at the Miami Township Police Department and was greeted my Major DiPietro. I went to the mall with Sgt. Nienhaus and we gathered there as a group before leaving. Met up with Mike Siney over there. We had somewhere around 75 cars there from various departments all over. I was already starting to feel honored just being in these people’s presence. A group of cops grieving and doing a mission of honor for a sister, and I was allowed to come along for the ride.

When we met up at the Navistar plant, only then did I realize the enormity of the support among her brothers and sisters in blue, most of who she never met or knew. Cops from all over the state. Later I’d find out, all over the country. We left there at 9:45 and took over an hour to get to the church, just a few miles away. Here is where the community support began to be noticed. Small children waving from car windows parked along the route. Businesses “Closed to Honor Deputy Hopper”. Veterans standing at attention saluting the procession. And hundreds of people waving at us from the side of the road.

Once we arrived at the church, to see the sea of officers in support of Deputy Hopper. Here is where I saw officers from the Chicago Police, Yonkers NY Police, Maryland and the Kentucky State police. The enormity of the moment began to set in on me. The first tears came here. Sheriff Kelly spoke magnificently, and did her son, and husband.

We waited outside to begin out journey to the cemetery. I talked to some of the guys from Huber Heights and Trotwood. Good to see familiar faces at such an event. Sitting in the parking lot in a sea of cars with lights flashing as the casket was brought out and as we followed one by one was a very moving experience. I can’t explain it to you. Watching the video won’t even give you the full affect. It took more than 2 hours to get to the cemetery. The route was lined with all sorts of folks out in the cold and snow holding up signs of support for the officers. The most moving part is the graveside ceremony. I was surrounded by a sea of blue.And felt the shot from the guns on the salute. And cried as the bagpipes played amazing grace.

I never knew (or met as far as I know) Deputy Hopper.But she knew about me. You know that from my previous note. But this was closer to me. She was one of my officers. Her loss caused some pain to me. Not like that experienced by family or the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. I can’t explain it to you. I can’t tell you how it feels. But these guys are my guys. And alot of the officers in the crowd had read emails from me. They wouldn’t recognize me, but they are my officers too. Pastor Pat has talked about Ministry in such a way that you have ownership over a city. That you feel it’s pain and that you hear it cry to you at night. These officers are that to me. I see them, hear them and feel the pain and sometimes frustration they feel. And when you stand and walk among them, it’s an indescribable feeling.

So I was taken back by the awesomeness of what I saw and felt today. It was good to see the support of a community, but why can’t they see that everyday, without the grief and loss? I also pray that I will never have to see it again. Their jobs are painful enough at times. Lets pray that they be spared form the grief again.

My papaw

I was asked to speak at his funeral, and since I’ve never been known as a person of few words ,I’d like to take the opportunity to say what a great man he is. And I say IS because I know that he really just changed addresses. He’s enjoying Heaven now. And I think that’s a consloation for our family.

Papaw was a social person. I’ve seen him get in conversations with total strangers about marbles, knives, or his beloved Kentucky Wildcats. He never met a stranger.And your life was richer just because you knew him.

He worked hard at everything he did. He didn’t teach me about hard work with words, but with his example. He was always working on something, or thinking about what he needed to do. But he taught me the value of relaxing too. I learned you can learn alot from a ball game or sitting on the porch whittling.

Papaw also had a funny side. Mom tells me that in the hospital when she wouldn’t let him get out of bed he said “I’ll catch you with your head turned in a minute.” And when I was younger, he would always walk up and pinch me right in the arm. “That’s a thin shirt you have on” he would say. When I visited home from Basic Training, that was one of the first things he did.

I’ll miss him more than words can describe. But I take comfort in knowing that his labors have ceased and he is in the presence of his Savior.

I love you papaw.

Thomas Coyn Yocum
1923-2010

FAQ – Who are you?

I’ve decided to update my blog with details and some of the questions I’ve been asked.

Q. Why are you contacting me?
A. I have found your email address on a police or city/county website, or it was given to my my another police or fire department.

Q. What is your goal?
A. It’s my personal goal that no law enforcement officer in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana or Hawaii will ever come to a holiday and not know that that are appreciated and honored by someone. I want them to know that someone cares that they are out there.

Additionally, I try to cover Fire departments in Ohio.

You can see what departments I currently have by clicking here.

Q. What are you doing?
A. I perform 3 functions:

1. Send holiday greetings to get forwarded or posted for the police officers to see. The regular emails are only sent for Police Week, July 4, September 11, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2. In the event of injury, I would know who to contact and either send my get well wishes, or make a hospital visit.
3. Should an officer give the supreme sacrifice, I would have a contact that I could inquire about visitation and give the family and the department my condolences when possible.

Q. What is your attachment to Ohio and Kentucky?
A. I currently live in Ohio. I was raised in Kentucky and most of my family still live there.

Q. Is this SPAM? What do you do with the email addresses? Is this coming from an automated system?

A. This is not SPAM. I keep the addresses on an Excel spreadsheet that is password protected. When I send out a message, I open up my Outlook, type the message, and get the email addresses from that sheet. Under no circumstance have I or will I give any information out to anyone that I receive.

Q. What do you need?
A. I need one Point of contact in each police department. I do not need individual email addresses. I want to respect each officers privacy as much as possible. You can see what departments I currently have by clicking here.

Q. A member of my department is in the hospital. Would you visit them?
A. I will try my best to visit any hospitalized hero I know about. All I need is a the hospital and room number. If you have talk to a family member to get permission, that would be good also. I don’t want to intrude if the family wants private time or does not want to receive visitors.

Q. A member of my department was killed in the Line of Duty. Would you go to the funeral or viewing?
A. It would be an honor to pay my respects to a hero killed in the Line of Duty. Sometimes due to work/family schedules it may not be possible. Contact me with the details and I’ll do my best to make it.

Q. A member of my department passed away from non-duty injuries. Would you go to the funeral or viewing?
A. It would be an honor to pay my final respects to any hero. Sometimes due to work/family schedules it may not be possible. Contact me with the details and I’ll do my best to make it.

Q. What started this?
A. This began while I was thinking on the events of 9/11 in 2008. One of the last “moment of silence” was for the fire fighter that was the last survivor removed. I realized that we should be extremely grateful for our law enforcement and fire crews. When I called my local department (Huber Heights, OH) on 9/11 and asked if they could let the officers know my appreciation for them and I was informed that they had not had that request in over 14 years. So that’s where it started.

Q. How long have you been doing this?
A. I have been doing this in Southwestern Ohio since Thanksgiving 2008.

Q. How can my department get added?
A. If you received an email from me, just reply to confirm what email address you want me to use. If you have not, email me: doctormikecrain(replace this with the “at sign”)gmail.com.

Q. I’m part of a fire department that is outside your radius. Could you still add us?
A. Absolutely. Fire Departments are larger in quantity and a little harder to reach, that is why I set the limit. It is a time restraint for me to do large quantities of research. Just contact me (see above).

Q. I’m from a fire/police department in another state. Could you still add us?
A. Absolutely. Due to time constraints and information availability I can’t try to contact each PD/FD in the US. Just email me at doctormikecrain(replace this with the “at sign”)gmail.com and I’ll add you.

Q. Can any one reply to the holiday emails?
A. Yes. Any one can reply. Any reply to me is strictly confidential. I gladly read and respond to each email I get from officers and fire fighters.

Q. I received an email from you about a Line of Duty death. Where do you get your information?
A. I received a notification from the Officer Down page. I looked up your department’s web page and sent an email to the listed contact.

Q. Are you/have you been a police officer or fire fighter?
A. No.

Q. Do you have officers/fire fighters in your family?
A. My cousin is a volunteer firefighter in Menifee County, KY, and a third cousin works for the Sheriff’s department.

Q. I’m in Indiana (or another state). Why was I contacted?
A. I covered a small area of Eastern Indiana that was within the 75 mile radius of my house. Also I have accidentally contacted departments in other states when I was looking for smaller towns (I contacted Centerville , UT instead of Centerville, IN). I visited Hawaii in 2002 on my honeymoon, so I have contacted those departments.

Q. Who are you?
A. My name is Dr. Michael A. Crain. I was awarded my Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in 2008. I was born and raised in Mariba (Menifee County) Kentucky. After graduating High School in 1994, I joined the United States Air Force. I served four years and got out in 1999. I’ve been a resident of Ohio ever since. I’ve lived in Moraine, Dayton, and now Huber Heights. I am married with four children. I work at PNC Mortgage in Miamisburg, OH.

Q. Are you on a social networking site?
A. Yes. I’m on Facebook, PoliceLink, FireLink and LinkedIn.

Q. Are you available for ride alongs or meetings?
A. As time and distance permits I will do either. I have 40 ride-alongs under my belt. and have had great experiences on ride alongs with various departments in my area.

Q. How can I help?
A. Spread the word to other police and fire departments that I do not have contacts for. You can see what departments I currently have by clicking here.

Q. Why do you care about us?
A. This is a tough question to answer with a short answer. I think that everyone should. I think you should never have to pay for a meal in uniform. I think that complaints should be far out-numbered by the praise you receive. So 9/11/2008 I just wanted to say thanks. After I contacted my local police department to express appreciation, I found that appreciation for first responders isn’t shown very often. I’ve found that the more I give, the more I want to give. Local efforts became state-wide efforts, then included Kentucky and parts of Indiana. As I ride with officers, or read various articles, my desire to support you becomes greater. Then after Citizen’s Police Academy session at the Huber Heights Police Division where Law Enforcement suicide was mentioned, I wanted to do even more. When I hear about struggles that departments hare having with the community, I want to stand there beside you. I celebrate when you celebrate, hurt when you hurt, grieve when you grieve.

I care because a moment in time, God placed one thought inside my heart, and that has changed my life completely. The conversations I have, the people I meet, and the emails I’ve receive continue to inspire me far more than I ever imagined.

I care because you do.

I went to a funeral today. It was truly eye opening.

I met briefly Detective Faulkner’s family and read of their battle of this disease. They were so…amazing. It’s all I can think to describe it. Amazing. I visited Detective Faulkner in the hospital a few hours before he died. I was kinda worried I’d be intruding. But a co-worker told me that he’d be glad to know someone cared if that was him in that bed. So I went. I went in and visited and explained why I was there. I got to say a few words to him. Tell him that I appreciated what he did as an officer, and through the battle that he was fighting. I could think of nothing else for the rest of the day.

I don’t think I’d ever been to a funeral of someone who wasn’t a relative of me or my wife before today. Honestly, it was a little intimidating. I knew I would be surrounded by some of the greatest people in my city. His family. The men and women of the Trotwood Police Department, and others across the Valley. Here I was walking through a sea of blue, and from all over. I greeted a few of the Trotwood officers. I knew that they had lost a brother too. Not a “blood” brother, but a bond that sometimes can be closer. Today, I caught a glimpse of how deep that bond is. Seeing men, tough men, moved to tears at the thought of seeing him one last time.

I waited until the last minute to go to the front to the casket. I didn’t feel worthy of that moment. Not me. But I went up there and did what came natural. I saluted. I was seeing a truly great man for the last time. Then I turned and stood in the back. It was a moving tribute to a truly great man.

Then, I had to go back to work. At that moment, it was one of the hardest things I’d done. And I thought about it all day. Would that many people come to see me? Would I have someone talking about me like that? Then my thoughts gravitated to those who were left. Specifically those I am sent to. The guys over at Trotwood were cleaning out as desk. I wish I could have been there for them. I’m sure that had support, but I wanted to be there. Be there for those who are there for me. For those people who a majority of the time are cursed because they hand out speeding tickets. I wanted to let them know that there are people who truly support them. Who care about them. Who are concerned with their struggles.

I don’t know where this road will lead. All I know is something was started in me that day I talked to Dispatcher Richendollar on 9/11/08. When I heard from the officers in Kettering and Colerain TWP that they’d been an officer for over 30 years and had never received a nice email saying “Than You” for no reason other than they were police, something happened. When I got a gold-embossed thank you card from a Police Chief I likely will never meet , something happened. Every time I got a Thank you from an officer for just sending an email, or saying “Hi” in a Speedway, something happens. And today, seeing what greatness is about, something happened in my heart.

Note: Jamie was part of the band Knight Blaze, which recently performed it’s last concert.