Friday, October 24, 2014

FBI National Academy holds Service at Memorial

FBI National Academy students arriving at the Memorial.
On evening of October 22nd, Session 258 of the FBI National Academy held a memorial service at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The FBI National Academy is a professional training course for U.S. and international law enforcement leaders. The Academy serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad. The training also works to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation worldwide.

Over two hundred students attended the ceremony to honor and remember the fallen officers from their departments. Memorial Fund Chief of Staff Herb Giobbi and head of the National Academy, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Michael Harrigan, made brief remarks during the ceremony. A roll call of fallen officers from the student's departments was read following the speeches. Lastly, the FBI National Academy students retook their law enforcement oath. The FBI National Academy has held several ceremonies at the Memorial, including one this past July.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wreath Laying Ceremony Held for Fallen Georgia Officer

The students, Metropolitan Police Officer, and the wreath.
Last Friday, October 3, the Memorial Fund welcomed a group of elementary students from three elementary schools in Monroe County, GA, for a special wreath laying ceremony. The students were on a long weekend tour of Washington, DC and wanted to include a visit to the Memorial to honor a fallen officer from their county.

The students carrying the wreath.
The ceremony was to honor Deputy Sheriff Michael Norris of the Monroe County (GA) Sheriff’s Office, who was shot and killed while responding to a suicide call on September 14, 2014. Deputy Norris was a Resource Officer at KB Sutton Elementary School in Forsyth, GA for two years before becoming a patrol officer.

The wreath against the wall.
Three students were chosen to carry the wreath. These students attended KB Sutton Elementary while Deputy Norris was assigned there. They carried a wreath of autumn flowers from the center of the Memorial to Officer Ivorie Klusmann’s (EOW 8/10/13) name on the wall. Officer Klusmann of the DeKalb County (GA) Police Department was the most recent law enforcement officer from Georgia to have his name engraved on the Memorial. The students were escorted by a Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Officer who kindly volunteered to take time out of his day to attend the ceremony.

The students, their chaperones, and Officer.
The sky was a bit overcast and there was a threat of rain, but that did not dampen the spirits of the group. There were many kind words said about Deputy Norris by those in attendance. They said that Deputy Norris was devoted to serving his community and always put others first. The students and their chaperones all wore matching memorial shirts for Deputy Norris that contained his badge number and EOW date. After the wreath was placed at the wall, a moment of silence was held in remembrance of Deputy Norris.

Thank you to the Monroe County students and their chaperones for attending the ceremony. Also, thank you to the Metropolitan Police Department for providing us with an officer for the ceremony.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Memorial Fund Staff Takes Part in Women in Homeland Security Barbecue Cook-Off

Part of the NLEOMF BBQ Cook-Off team
On Saturday, September 27, the Memorial Fund participated in the Fourth Annual Women in Homeland Security Barbecue Cook-Off. Women in Homeland Security (WHS) is a professional organization for women who work in the field of homeland security. The Cook-Off was held at the US Coast Guard TISCOM facility in Alexandria, VA.

Each year, WHS chooses a designee for the proceeds of their cook-off.. This year’s beneficiary was ICE Foundation, which supports US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Next year, the Memorial Fund will be a beneficiary of the event.

Teams included Fairfax County International Search & Rescue, Bowie (MD) Volunteer Firefighters, US Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association District of Columbia Chapter, InfraGard of the National Capital Region, FBI WFO Citizens Academy Alumni Association, Customs & Border Protection Office of Information Technology, Border Patrol Foundation, and Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

The spread!
Over 250 friends, colleagues, and community members came out to taste the fabulous barbecue offered up by all nine teams. Teams also decorated their tables to showcase their organizations. The teams made all kinds of great barbecue. The Memorial Fund’s Team served barbecue wings, sausage, and grilled vegetables.

Our team was led by Mary Brown (Executive Assistant) with help from her husband Earl Brown and friend Richard Henson. Phillip Henson, husband of our Office Associate, Deloris, made our special sauce. Deloris helped cook the vegetables and keep the whole process organized. Other staff members at the event included Bernie Spence (Director of Research), Wanda Boykins (Development Analyst), Alyssa Foley (Museum Intern), and Robbi Woodson (Law Enforcement Relations Manager).

The Memorial Fund team had a wonderful time cooking barbecue and meeting the supporters of the WHS. The food was delicious and the weather was pristine, making the day perfect.

Thank you to all the members of the Women in Homeland Security for running this fabulous event and for their support. We would also like to send a big thank you to WHS Founder & President Kristina Tanasichuck and Board Member Eileen Parise. The Memorial Fund is looking forward to next year’s Barbecue Cook-Off, so keep an eye out for updates about next year’s event!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ambassador & Guardian Spotlight: Kevin Whalen & Aaron Moore

The Ambassador & Guardian program goal is to support the Memorial Fund and honor the service and sacrifice of law enforcement. Throughout the year there are many exciting events that our volunteers participate in such as the Ride and Run to Remember.

Law Enforcement Ambassador Kevin Whalen
The Ride and Run to Remember was created to commemorate the October dedication of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is a fun, community-oriented athletic event designed to honor the contribution and sacrifice law enforcement officers make every day and encourage community support for the Memorial. This fun-packed weekend includes events at two locations that are easily accessible to those in the DC-Metropolitan area: Saturday's (October 11) 5K run and 2K walk that start and finish at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in downtown Washington, DC, and Sunday's (October 12) 55- or 30-mile bike ride that starts and finishes at National Harbor, MD, just outside of DC.

Ambassador Kevin Whalen will be participating in the 55-mile bike ride on Sunday October 12th. Kevin will be riding with his colleagues and friends with the FLEOA Team. Also, Ambassador Aaron Moore will be participating as a Road Worrier this year, which means doing both the 5K and 55 mile bike ride.
Ambassador Aaron Moore

We encourage all Ambassadors and Guardians to take part in the Ride and Run. Even if you can’t make it to DC, as a virtual participant you will be able to participate from your hometown. Virtual participants who meet the $72 fundraising minimum will receive the participant shirt, finisher medal and all fundraising incentives earned.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Trooper Brian Beuning Receives Officer of the Month Award at Special Press Conference

 Trooper Brian Beuning Receives Officer of the Month Award for September

Trooper Brian Beuning, with the Minnesota State Patrol, received the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award on September 22, 2014 during a special press conference at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety in St. Paul, MN. Trooper Beuning was presented with his Officer of the Month Award certificate and was recognized for his excellence in service. The award was presented by Ralph Boelter, Vice President of Corporate Security at Target and Memorial Fund Board of Directors Representative.
Trooper Beuning receiving his Officer of the Month Certificate.

Trooper Beuning speaking at the press conference.
On the evening of June 16, 2014, Trooper Beuning rescued a woman who had been trapped in a car that was stranded in floodwaters near Beaver Creek, MN. Trooper Beuning pulled the woman out of the car just seconds before it was swept away. Trooper Beuning then held on to the woman for 45 minutes until they could be rescued.

Following the certificate presentation, Trooper Beuning responded to questions from the press regarding the event. He discussed his thought process during the rescue, shared details about the rescue, and revealed how the rescue has changed his rescue methods moving forward. He now carries a life jacket and rope in his squad car, just in case he might need to perform another water rescue.

Trooper Beuning and his son, Max.
Despite the honor and praise, Trooper Beuning maintains that he is not a hero. “It’s part of the job,” he said. “Anybody would do it if they came into that situation.” He insists that “we got lucky,” and that while they were waiting for help, “I kept feeling cornstalks hitting the back of my legs, and I kept thinking, when is that tree coming or when is the debris coming. That would have knocked our feet out from underneath us.”

“He’s [Trooper Beuning] the best of the best of the Minnesota State Patrol. He didn’t shy from his duty,” said Lt. Colonel Langer. “He acted with courage and without fear, with probably a little anxiety, as he did his deed that day. He was ultimately able to save that woman from being swept away in her vehicle.”

Trooper Beuning’s wife, Ginger, their two-year old son, Max, and Trooper Beuning’s parents were present to witness the event. Captain Mike Wedin of the Marshall District of Minnesota State Patrol and Lt. Colonel Matt Langer, Acting Chief of the MN State Patrol were also present to honor Trooper Beuning.

The press conference can be seen in full here. Thank you to Mr. Boelter and the Minnesota State Patrol for hosting this wonderful event.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering the Law Enforcement Heroes Lost on 9-11

In observance of the 13th anniversary of the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund held a ceremony Thursday morning at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, to remember the 72 peace officers who were killed in the line of duty during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd was joined by United States Attorney General Eric Holder and delivered brief remarks introducing the reading of the 72 fallen officers’ names aloud, as the crowd of Memorial Fund staff, peace officers, supporters, and friends gathered to honor the fallen officer’s service and sacrifice.

When all the names had been read aloud, Mr. Floyd was joined by Attorney General Holder and members of the Metropolitan DC Police Department Honor Guard to place a wreath near where the fallen officers’ names are engraved, Panels 9-22 of the Memorial’s West Wall.

“With the passage of time, the horrific events of 9/11 seem to have faded a bit from our collective consciousness,” said Mr. Floyd. “But the service and sacrifice of the 72 courageous law enforcement heroes, who put their lives on the line that day for the safety and protection of others, will always be remembered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial,” he said.

Among the 72 peace officers who made the ultimate sacrifice that day were 37 sworn members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, making the department experience the most fatalities ever received during a single day in U.S. History. Also among those killed at the World Trade Center that tragic day include 23 members of the New York City Police Department, five members of the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance, three members of the New York State Office of Court Administration; a special agent with the FBI, a master special officer with the U.S. Secret Service, and a New York City fire marshal who had sworn law enforcement powers. 

In addition, Refuge Manager Richard Guadagno was among the passengers who died in Pennsylvania while fighting to regain control of Flight 93 from the terrorists. Refuge Manager Guadagno was a sworn officer with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The names of all 72 officers killed on 9/11 can be found on the Memorial Fund website, The names of more than 20,000 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history—since the earliest known officer fatality in 1791—are engraved on the Memorial.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New York Yankees Law Enforcement Appreciation Night Honors Officer of the Month Recipient

Investigator John Vescio receiving his award.
Investigator John Vescio of the New York State Police and recipient of our August 2014 Officer of the Month Award was honored for his heroic actions at a special ceremony held during the New York Yankees third Law Enforcement Appreciation Night, which took place on Friday, September 5, at Yankee Stadium. Investigator Vescio was presented with his Officer of the Month Award certificate and was recognized for his service. Unfortunately the Yankees lost to the Kansas City Royals 1-0, but it was still a great evening to watch baseball.

On June 3rd, 2014, Investigator Vescio pulled an unconscious man out of a burning car and dragged him to safety. The man had suffered a diabetic event and passed out, causing him to crash into a gas pump, which as a result caught on fire. Investigator Vescio was off-duty and was filling up his department vehicle at the pump when the incident occurred. His quick police instincts helped him save a life and thus earned the Officer of the Month Award. The whole event was captured on camera. View it here.

Guests of the event

At last Friday’s event, Investigator Vescio and his family were joined by several distinguished members of the Law Enforcement Community and Investigator Vescio’s command staff. Guests included Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd, Memorial Fund Chief Development Officer Ray Hord, Memorial Fund Director of Development and Law Enforcement Relations John Shanks, the NYC Police Benevolent Association’s John Flynn, and Police Unity Tour Executive Director Harry Phillips.

Tino Martinez, Investigator Vescio, and family
In addition to the guest of honor, Yankees legend Tino Martinez joined the celebration of Investigator Vescio’s award. Martinez helped the Yankees win four World Series between 1996 and 2001, playing at first base.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with the Yankees to hold this wonderful event,” said Craig Floyd, CEO and Chairman of the NLEOMF. “The combination of honoring Law Enforcement and baseball is a proven way to raise awareness and funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Thank you to the Yankees for welcoming us back at Yankee Stadium.”

John Shanks, Craig Floyd, Tino Martinez,
Investigator Vescio, and Harry Phillips

A special Thanks to the New York State Police Department and the New York City Police Benevolent Association for supporting the event, along with New York Yankees Group Sales Manager Joshua Rose, and NLEOMF Director of Development and Law Enforcement Relations John Shanks for organizing the event.