Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nashville Predators take win in Law Enforcement Appreciation game

On a night dedicated to honoring law enforcement officers at Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville Predators ended a five-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Wild 3-0 on Saturday, January 16. Before the game, fans interacted with the Davidson County (TN) Sheriff’s Department Mobile Booking and Jail vehicle. The Metro-Nashville (TN) Police Department had their Bomb Disposal Vehicle on hand and the Tennessee Crime Stoppers and Metro Nashville Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies, had display tables along the concourse featuring career opportunities and interactions with the general public.

The Metro Nashville Police Department Honor Guard presented the colors during the National Anthem. A pre-game ceremony honored Brentwood (TN) Police Department Lieutenant John Wood and Murfreesboro (TN) Police Department Officer Haley Alden, who received the Remington Heroes Award for the heroic service they have provided to their respective communities.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund would like to thank AJ Rockwell, Marty Mulford and the Nashville Predators group sales and ticketing department, as well as the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police for their assistance in organizing this event.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Memorial Fund Hosts Congressional Reception

Last week, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund presents its 2015 Excellence in Media Award to FOX News personality Greta Van Susteren and its 2015 Distinguished Service Award to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at a Congressional reception in the Rayburn House Office Building.

After an introduction from Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd, more than a hundred guests heard from Jackie Rice, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer at Target, the sponsor of this event. The Chairs of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), both also shared remarks.

Ms. Van Susteren has been a steadfast advocate for law enforcement, recently devoting a considerable amount of air time on her weekday show, On The Record, detailing the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers.

NHTSA has led advancements in transportation safety and has been a long-time partner with the Memorial Fund and law enforcement agencies across the nation in efforts to make roads safer for our officers and everyone. Accepting on their behalf, Administrator Mark R. Rosekind said, "until we get to zero [deaths], not just for everybody but especially for law enforcement, much work is still to be done.”

Each year, the Memorial Fund’s Board of Directors selects award winners who embody leadership and service, and whose contributions have had a positive impact on the law enforcement profession.

Congressional Reception

Monday, December 7, 2015

Detroit Red Wings Honor Michigan’s Recently Fallen Officers

Deep in the tunnels of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan, a group of law enforcement officers gathered in preparation for their ceremonial tasks. They practiced their moves and timing as thousands of people sat in their seats, watching players from the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes warm up. The occasional errant puck would pound on the glass that separated the officers from the ice, causing everyone to jump and then laugh.

These officers, as well as hundreds more in the stands, came to The Joe on Thursday, December 3, to honor the service and sacrifice of Michigan’s men and women in law enforcement with the 5th Annual Law Enforcement Night. Three in particular were honored: First Lieutenant Arthur Green, of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Sergeant Joseph Abdella, of the Detroit (MI) Police Department; and Trooper Chad Wolf, of the Michigan State Police—officers who died in the line of duty this year. An honor guard from the Midland (MI) Police Department followed three officers who represented the departments who had lost an officer this year.

The family of Sergeant Abdella, his wife and their two daughters, stood back from the ice and watched as Karen Newman, who was escorted by Officer Stephen Schneider of the Southfield (MI) Police Department, sang the National Anthem. Sergeant Abdella suffered a heart attack on August 14 while working the Mounted Unit in Detroit. Earlier in the evening, the daughters had received a signed hockey stick and puck, courtesy of a raffle held by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the generosity of Chris Powell, an investigator at Wayne State University. Powell had been named the winner of the hockey puck, signed by a player of the Red Wings, but immediately gave it to Abdella’s daughters, who are fans of the team. Sergeant Abdella was 49 years old.

Trooper Chad Wolf’s family was allowed to sit in the penalty box during pre-game warm-ups. Trooper Wolf, 38, was killed on August 28 after his Michigan State Police motorcycle was struck by a vehicle towing a trailer. He had joined the force in 2008.

First Lieutenant Arthur Green, of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, was also honored at the hockey game. The conservation officer, 58, was killed on August 9 when the small plane he was piloting crashed after hitting a tree near the airport he was expected to land at. He had been on his way to a law enforcement training session.

Those who bought their tickets through the Law Enforcement Night event link were given a commemorative coin in honor of the annual event hosted by the Red Wings. In addition, the first 500 ticket purchasers were allowed onto the ice to take shots on nets after the game, which the hometown team won 5-1. Scores of adults and children waited patiently for this rare treat, to stand on the cold and slippery rink of a professional hockey team and score a goal.

To honor the special evening, coaches of both the Red Wings and Coyotes wore Memorial lapel pins during the game, and police vehicles lined the streets around the arena in downtown Detroit.

About 1,700 tickets were sold for the event, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s campaign to create the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC.

There are currently 20 officers from the Detroit (MI) Police Department whose names are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement officers Memorial. The earliest fallen officer from Michigan was Detective Sergeant Daniel J. Coughlin, who died in a shooting-related incident in 1923. Michigan State Police honors 22 officers on the Memorial walls, with the earliest fallen officer being Sergeant Harvey E. Bolen, who died following an injury while on motorcycle patrol, also in 1923. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources currently has only one name on the Memorial, Conservation Officer Edward Carl Starback, who died in a plane crash in 1957 that also killed his two sons.

The Memorial Fund is grateful for the generosity of the Detroit Red Wings for hosting Law Enforcement Night for five years, and for giving local law enforcement and their friends and family the opportunity to enjoy a great evening of hockey. Also, an added extra thanks to the Detroit Red Wings Group Sales and Security teams, ASIS Detroit Chapter, Southfield Police Department, and the Michigan Association of Chiefs Police.

“It’s a great way to raise awareness and funds for the Museum, but also to reflect on the positive work officers do to serve and protect in Michigan and across the country,” said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the Memorial Fund.

Memorial staffers Brad Carlson, Senior Director of Major Gifts, and Jaclyn Barrientes, Communications and Digital Media Manager, were on hand to answer questions about the Memorial and plans for the Museum in Washington, DC. Carlson stressed the importance of building the museum to tell the story of law enforcement in this country, and asked that officers look into opportunities to help make it into a reality, including through donations.

Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,538 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

262nd Session of FBI National Academy Hosts Ceremony at Memorial

The murder of Police Officer Randolph Holder of the New York Police Department the previous night made the Memorial Service for the 262nd Session of the FBI National Academy on Wednesday, October 21, a more somber experience for those in attendance.

Memorial Fund CEO and Chairman Craig W. Floyd spoke to the several academy members on the warm fall evening about the importance of law enforcement in our country. He addressed Officer Holder’s death by a “career criminal,” a man who had a long history of committing crimes. Officer Holder, like every officer, ran toward the danger.

Floyd said the country has forgotten about the unity with law enforcement that took over after the attacks on September 11, 2001. He recalled being taken down to Ground Zero in a patrol car soon after the World Trade Center towers came down, and being moved by the sight of the crowd  applauding the first responders as they made their way past.

Near the end of the ceremony, names of several fallen officers were read, and a wreath was placed at the center of the Memorial.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Witness to History: Boston Marathon Bombing

Seat by seat, the rows filled in the Burke Theater of the U.S. Navy Memorial Museum on Wednesday, October 7. Many came from across the East Coast to listen to three officials talk about the investigation and manhunt following one of the most recent terrorist attacks in our nation’s homeland. As part of the Witness to History series, the National Law Enforcement Museum provided the audience a chance to listen to first-hand accounts of what happened in the days following the Boston Marathon Bombing.

On April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon fans lined the streets of the region to cheer on the runners, an annual tradition for which the city is famous. No one would’ve suspected that this race would be any different than the ones before it. Unfortunately, two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line on Boylston Street set off a four-day chase for brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev through several Boston-area towns.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz was in her office in Downtown Boston when the blasts occurred. “The news of the explosions just spread like wildfire,” she said. Ortiz also referenced the how the media both helped and hurt the investigation, pointing out how the media reported the arrest of a suspect early on when it wasn’t case. But they also provided the public with the information to assist in tracking down the suspects, which led to the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, Massachusetts.

It was after midnight on April 19, 2013, four days after the bombing and shortly after MIT Police Officer Sean A. Collier was killed by the same suspects in Cambridge, when Watertown Sgt. John MacLellan and his team came upon the Tsarnaev brothers. A gunfight ensued where the officers came under fire from bullets and small bombs. “This is something you couldn’t train for in our department,” Sgt. McLellan recalled to the audience. “It was more like a war zone than a street fight.” Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in the battle from gunshot wounds and having been run over by his fleeing younger brother.

Later that day, a 911 call came in from a Watertown resident who noticed suspicious activity in his backyard. Former FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers described the situation. “A call came in from David Henneberry who, after noticing a weather wrap was loose on his boat, looked inside and saw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev alive and sleeping,” he said. He was later captured by police, bringing an end to a manhunt that captured the attention of the nation, and put the city of Boston on edge.

Each panelist shared how incredibly moved they were by Boston and Watertown residents who came together in the aftermath of the bombings and the display of strength and resilience of the victims and their families. Sgt. McLellan praised a family in Watertown, who allowed officers to use their bathroom during the search, and said the experience had brought the community together. DesLauriers said it was the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies working together that played a role in the capture of the suspect.

The Museum’s Witness to History program began in June 2011. Since the inaugural event, 11 more have been presented. Video recordings and photos from the events are availableto view on the Museum’s website.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York

One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York
Purchase Book
Arthur Browne explores the desegregation of the New York Police Department through the extraordinary life of Samuel Battle in One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York.

On June 28, 1911, Samuel Jesse Battle, badge number 782, became the first black policeman in the NYPD. On that day, Police Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo told him, “You will have some difficulties, but I know you will overcome them.” Thus began Battle’s four decadelong career. Along the way Battle pushed through the ranks of the NYPD, navigated the murky waters of Tammany Hall politics, and became a founding citizen of black Harlem. Battle also pushed for equality in all of the city’s civil services, including mentoring Wesley Williams, the first black fire fighter in the New York Fire Department.

Battle’s career was never easy. He faced discrimination and threats even before taking the civil service exam, and Battle’s first day at the Twenty-Eighth Precinct was no different. He was greeted with silence, disdain, and a cot in the precinct’s flag storage loft instead of the dormitory. Years later Battle would recount his feelings to Langston Hughes, his autobiographer for a time, about enduring such abuse.
Sometimes, lying on my cot on the top floor in the silence, I would wonder how it was that many of the patrolmen in my precinct who did not yet speak English well, had no such difficulties in getting on the police force as I, a Negro American, had experienced…My name had been passed over repeatedly. All sorts of discouragements had been placed in my path. And now, after a long wait and a lot of stalling, I had finally been given a trial appointment to their ranks and these men would not speak to me. Native-born and foreign-born whites on the police force all united in looking past me as though I were not a human being. In the loft in the dark, with the Stars and Stripes, I wondered! Why?

Friday, August 21, 2015

VALOR Officer Safety Conference on September 17-18

On September 17-18, the VALOR Initiative will host an officer safety conference in Hurst, TX, providing officers with the opportunity to learn about varied topics including emerging threats and challenges, casualty care and rescue tactics, and pre-incident indicators of a potential assault. You can view the full, two-day agenda here.

Along with a wide array of law enforcement experts and researchers, Memorial Fund CEO Craig W. Floyd and Nick Breul, Director of Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative, will both be in attendance lending their expertise on the threats facing our officers. Additionally, there will be presentations by representatives from Dallas, who were recipients of our Destination Zero National Officer Safety and Officer Wellness Award in the category of officer safety for their trauma kits, and Yolo County, CA S.O who won in the traffic safety category for reducing at fault vehicle crashes.

Since the inception of the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) VALOR Initiative in 2010, a total of 153 VALOR officer safety training sessions have been conducted, impacting over 19,000 law enforcement officers. The training continues to be positively received by officers across the country.

There is no registration fee for this conference, but space is limited. Enrollment is reserved for currently sworn law enforcement personnel. Federal registrants will be placed on a wait list pending availability. Register today.