Category Archives: Line of Duty

Please disseminate to all law enforcement: Police Week 2019

Please disseminate to all law enforcement: Police Week 2019

May 12-18, 2019 marks the period that we call “Police Week”.  In 1962, President Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, when we set aside a time of “Recognition of the service given by the men and women who, night and day, stand guard in our midst to protect us through enforcement of our laws”.

I, like a lot of you, will attend memorials or private ceremonies during the month. Whether it may be the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service in the Nation’s capitol, state ceremonies, local ceremonies, or your department is doing something (or all the above) I always tell people that it is important that we do these ceremonies for a couple of reasons.

  1. Sacrifice by those who came before us makes our job safer.

    I think that most (if not all) of us understand this. The methods of policing change often. Sometimes, the changes are driven by sacrifices of those before us. We use seat belts more often (hopefully every single time!) because of those who did not. We wear our vests (every time!) because of those who did not or maybe served before a time when they were even available. We hear a story and think “If they would have had a back-up weapon, they might have made it out OK.” Changes in how vehicles are approached at traffic stops, hunters in the field, or suspects in an interview room are changing because of what has happened to others. Learn their stories, share them, and motivate yourself and others to prevent the deaths and injuries we can prevent by heeding those lessons. When we attach a name and face to something, we work together to prevent it from happening again. We learn from the past, develop better/stronger/faster tools, and use better techniques.

  2. Sacrifice should never be forgotten.

    This should be a way of life for all of us. From the first Line of Duty death of Constable Darius Quimby back in January 3, 1791 to the most recent (at the time of this writing) of Conservation Officer Eugene Wynn, Jr. on April 19, 2019, we remember the 23,711 officers that have paid that price. They were husbands, wives, parents, children and friends. For some, it was one of their first days on the job, and others were preparing to retire. Some were from large departments; others were the only person in the department. Some were from large cities, others from “the middle of nowhere”. A lot of officers and a lot of differences between them. A quote that I often use is from the poet Cicero, “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”  Take time to remember them. Tell someone’s story today. Chances are they improved yours.

    Also, If your community doesn’t have a memorial service, consider starting one. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. If you would like some assistance in this area, let me know. I know some people that can help. Don’t let your community’s loss be forgotten.

Thanks for spending a few minutes with me. This message is being read by departments of all shapes, sizes, types and locations. For all my law enforcement family reading this, I’m praying for an especially peaceful and safe week for you: safe citizen encounters, safe traffic stops, safe building searches, and safe DV calls. I pray for a time of healing for the departments reading this who have had a loss in the last year, or with a loss that continues to hurt. I pray that those of you making trips to Washington and state memorials will have a safe trip. For those who are attending a memorial to honor a fallen brother or sister, I pray for healing. But most of all, I hope now more than ever, there is an outpouring of appreciation form the communities that you serve.

I also want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I cannot express my gratitude enough for your assistance.

Thank you to each person who has taken the time to read this. You are why I do what I do. Thank you for who you are, and all you do. Don’t forget that people DO care. If I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact me.

I’ve said it before and will say it for the remainder of my days. You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

 

Dr. Mike A. Crain I, D.Min.
Chaplain
Huber Heights, OH 45424
Blog: https://chaplainthoughts.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DoctorMichael

 

Line of Duty Deaths in the last three weeks.

I had been so busy with numerous things that I had not gotten to post the heroes who gave their lives for the safety of our county. May they rest in peace.

Hero Department EOW Cause
Police Officer Celena Hollis Denver Police Department, CO Sunday, June 24, 2012 Gunfire
Agent Victor Manuel Soto-Velez Puerto Rico Police Department, PR Tuesday, June 26, 2012 Gunfire
Trooper Aaron Beesley Utah Highway Patrol, UT Saturday, June 30, 2012 Fall
Border Patrol Agent Leopoldo Cavazos, Jr. Border Patrol Friday, July 6, 2012 Automobile accident
Patrolman Christopher Reeves Millville Police Department, NJ Sunday, July 8, 2012 Vehicle pursuit
Police Officer Brian Lorenzo Philadelphia Police Department, PA Sunday, July 8, 2012 Vehicular assault
Lt. John L. Echternach, Jr. Boones Mill Volunteer Fire Department 07/02/2012 Vehicle Strike
SMSgt Robert S. Cannon 145th Airlift Wing 07/01/2012 Vehicle Collision
Lt. Paul K. Mikeal 145th Airlift Wing 07/01/2012 Vehicle Collision
Major Ryan S. David 145th Airlift Wing 07/01/2012 Vehicle Collision
Major Joseph M. McCormick 145th Airlift Wing 07/01/2012 Vehicle Collision
Firefighter Rocky E. Dunkin Nile Township Volunteer Fire Department 07/01/2012 Unknown
Firefighter Ronald Keddie Sheridan Fire Department,NY 06/27/2012 Stress/Overexertion
Fire Chief George Davis Hollis Fire Department,ME 06/23/2012 Heart Attack

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.

Honoring Heroes Website and Mission

I had a really nice meeting this morning with Bill Finegan, the driving force behind the Honoring Heroes website. Bill is former EMS from Philadelphia, and First Responder issues runs in his veins. I must say that I left that meeting wanting to really make a difference in the lives of First Responders.

I want to encourage (read that as “DO IT!”) all my friends who are First Responders or those of you who appreciate and support First Responders to take a look at this site. I want to highlight some things here that are truly just the tip of the iceberg for what this organization is doing.

First , if you’ve notices on my last few LODD posts, I have a link to their information on the Honoring Heroes website. I really like the format of the information about the hero, and how they take time to tell the story…THEIR story. You can find some real good information that you won’t find on USFA or ODMP. Another feature is that these stories are updated periodically as more information is found.

Second, the awards initiative. He wants to standardize awards given to First Responders. You can nominate someone for an award. There is a suggested donation of $20 per award. This leads into another really cool plan. Half of the donated money ($10 per medal) will be set aside in the Homeland Heroes Fund to provide for the needs of the surviving spouses of First Responders who have died in the line of duty.

See the FAQ page if you have any questions, or contact him.

There are lots of initiatives that they are trying to accomplish. So please, go take a look. Help if you can.

Oe other thing you can do to help. Check out the Danny Mac bill (House) and the Dale Long Act(Senate) and voice your support to your representatives.

Recent discoveries of local officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” Cicero

As I checked ODMP today, I noticed that two kentucky officers were recently discovered.

Patrolman Leonard J. Garrison of the Paris Police Department was killed on Monday, March 30, 1964.

May he continue to rest in peace.

Special Deputy David George Treadway of the Menifee County Sheriff’s Office was killed Sunday, December 10, 1922.

Prior to today, I only knew of four officers killed in my home county. Now there are 5. And while the even happened 89 years ago, there was still that sinking feeling in my stomach. A sense of loss. I also wonder how many officers out there have died and no one remembers. How may sacrificed all they had to protect my family that now seems forgotten by history.

Deputy Treadway, you will never be forgotten again. Ever.

Line of Duty deaths from history recently honored by ODMP.

The Officer Down Memorial Pages teamed up with researchers from across the county tirelessly look for officers who were killed in the line of duty and not honored at the National and sometimes state level. So when someone is found and verified, they are posted on the Recent Historical Additions page.

Thes officer’s dedication to duty, even in the face of danger, gives them honor, even today, even those gone over 100 years ago. Continue to rest in peace, Kentucky heroes.


Christian County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Robert H. Coffey
Christian County Sheriff’s Office, KY
EOW: Saturday, October 26, 1901
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Green County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Marhall E. Henley
Green County Sheriff’s Office, KY
EOW: Saturday, July 7, 1883
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Policeman James C. Coldiron
Lynch Police Department, KY
EOW: Friday, July 15, 1921
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Chief of Police William R. Holcomb
Lynch Police Department, KY
EOW: Friday, July 15, 1921
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Knott County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Adam Smith
Knott County Sheriff’s Department, KY
EOW: Thursday, April 11, 1935
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Harlan County Police Department, Kentucky

Patrolman Melvin Gregory
Harlan County Police Department, KY
EOW: Tuesday, August 26, 1924
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Jesse Peters
Harlan County Sheriff’s Department, KY
EOW: Saturday, June 30, 1923
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Bell County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Jim Collins
Bell County Sheriff’s Department, KY
EOW: Wednesday, July 4, 1923
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Pike County Constable's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Constable Cline Tackett
Pike County Constable’s Office, KY
EOW: Sunday, June 16, 1935
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Knox County Constable's Office, Kentucky

Constable Brock Sizemore
Knox County Constable’s Office, KY
EOW: Tuesday, November 3, 1936
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Slaughtersville Marshal's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Marshal Ren Ashby
Slaughtersville Marshal’s Office, KY
EOW: Thursday, December 22, 1898
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Louisville and Nashville Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

Detective Green Rose
Louisville and Nashville Railroad Police Department, RR
EOW: Wednesday, March 29, 1911
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Last full measure of devotion

As of the time I write this note, 72 officers have given their lives for our freedom and safety here at home, ant it’s only May! They are from big cities to towns you may have never heard of. Some were parents, some were brothers or sisters, some were husbands or wives. Some were funny, some were serious.

Today, I’m going to be a better person than yesterday. Today I’m going to notice the value of life a little more. I’m going to appreciate what others do for me a little more.

And with a renewed sense of purpose, and dedication to the cause that burns so hot in my heart, that the words of Abraham Lincoln may be true, “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”.

Sergeant Brian Dulle – May he rest in peace.

I sit down to put my thoughts to words 22 hours after the horrific death of Sergeant Brian Dulle. Mainly to compose my thoughts. It’s a little therapeutic for me. On January 1 of this year I was completely blind-sighted. I remember the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember the tears that came. The ache that I was powerless to do anything about what just occurred. The notion of “What price is too high for our safety? Especially those who care nothing of what just happened?” And now, only 129 days later, we loose another officer. I loose another officer.

What was true for Deputy Hopper, is also true for Deputy Dulle. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office believes in me and my mission to support officers and firefighters. I did not know him, but he kew something about me. He read my note on the holidays. He knew that Dr. Mike was there. And that someone gave a darn that he was out there. On the holidays, in the rain, in the snow, in the cold, in the hot summer sun, after tornadoes. In court on days off, working odd shifts to cover for sick co-workers. Someone cared that he was giving up time with his family to protect countless other families.

I have lost 4 officers since I began this mission in 2008. 3 this year. I won’t say that I know or understand the pain that the Lexington Police Department, and this year the Clark County Sheriff’s Department , the Stow Police Department, and recently the Warren County Sheriff’s office has come to know. Nor do I speak for them. I can’t even imagine what it is like to have a co-worker, a friend, to die and still have to continue to do the same job everyday. I can’t fathom what it is like to see evil descend and take someone that close, and still have to shine my badge, prepare my guns, and march off again into a battle, wondering if I’m next. A mostly thankless job in a increasingly thankless society. Officer Mark Bruns once said “Don’t feel sorry for us. We chose this life.” Well I do. I feel sorry. I feel sorry that people THEY protect can be so brittle, shallow, and self-absorbed. I feel sorry for every time they take crap from their community they “protect and serve” after attending funerals, or taking children to cancer treatments, or doing the things they have to do every day. I feel sorry that as critical as they are to society, that society treats them with contempt.

But that’s an amazing thing about cops. I hear from some of them every time I send a note. I see and hear it in the cars when I ride. And the determination at rallys, and even at funerals. Their training pounds one thing into their heads “I WILL SURVIVE”. I will out-shoot, out-drive, and out-maneuver the evil around me. They are that “thin blue line” that protects us from what we THINK the world is from what the world REALLY is. And they do it with courage, dedication and determination.

So they’ll be OK. They’ll grieve. They’ll honor, and they’ll get up and do it again. They’ll be there for me, so I’ll be there for them. That’s what I do. And I’ll do it until the day that I die. They are my heroes.

My thoughts on the war declared against Police Officers

As I write this, there have been 14 officers slain in the line of duty, 9 from gunfire (plus 1 accidental). Once Officer David Moore is “official”, it becomes 15/10. In the last 24 hours, 11 police officers have been shot at (that we know of, likely numerous others). Deputies, officers, campus police, federal agents. What they all hold in common is “the thin blue line”.

Their job is ” not just protecting and serving. It’s preserving that buffer that exists in the space between what you think the world is, and what the world really is.” (I quoted that here) I’ve heard that death “is just part of their job” when it was remarked about another officer who GAVE their lives (they did not lose it, they intentionally gave it to protect their citizens). No one says that to tellers, convenient store clerks, or soldiers when they die. So why with officers? Is it because we do not care? Is it because we are so angry with the speeding ticket that we don’t feel we deserved that we can callously ignore the death of an officer? I really want to think I live in a better world. But it’s gradually proving me faulty to hope in humanity’s decency.

I’ve needed cops before. When I had a car stolen in 1996 in Moraine, they came out. When I panicked and could not remember my alarm code fast enough in Dayton in 2000, they came out then too. When my grandmother’s house was broken into all those years ago, the KSP came out. And the list goes on. I hope I never need them again. But they are there when life goes bad. And they are there for us all. They are the ones who have to inform you that a loved one was in an accident…and didn’t make it. They are the ones who have to investigate why someone hit a tree at 70 MPH and try to find the missing body parts. They are the ones who have to go to the crime scene and figure out that the drive did not see the pedestrian because they were going too fast because they were 5 minutes late. They are the ones who start CPR until the paramedics arrive (and I have SEEN that happen). They are the ones who have to calmly explain your ticket and explain that 52 in a 35 is speeding no matter how good the excuse, maybe after just getting shot at. They try to cram lunch/dinner and typing up endless reports and redundant paperwork into a 30 minute lunch (which they can NOT take if it is busy). They are the ones who are suffering with PTSD (its estimated that 15-20%) and feel it every time the computer sends them on a call. And they are the ones who have the horror they’ve seen haunt them in their dreams.

I don’t say this to make you feel sorry for them. As Officer Mark Bruns told me once, “Don’t feel sorry for us. We chose this life”. I tell you this to make you FEEL.

I’m setting my profile picture to the thin blue line. Not because I am a cop. I do it to honor the dead, as well as the living.

Also, for those of you who are Christians and believe in the power of prayer, here are some prayer points I posted last spring.

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.