Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Law Enforcement Guardian Spotlight: Elisa Santos

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund enjoys the support of a special group of volunteers: Law Enforcement Ambassadors and Guardians. Law Enforcement Ambassadors are active and retired law enforcement officers from city, state, federal and military law enforcement agencies, while Law Enforcement Guardians are volunteers who support and honor law enforcement but are not sworn officers, allowing citizens, family members and corporate supporters to work closely with the Memorial Fund in achieving their goals.

This month we introduce you to National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Guardian, Elisa Santos. Elisa and her husband, Colorado Springs Police Officer Isidro “Sid” Santos, are very active members of their community. In addition, Elisa has been an active member of the Memorial Fund’s Ambassador/Guardian program for the past four years. While she is not a law enforcement officer herself, Elisa is passionate about supporting the Memorial Fund and helping raise funds and awareness about the A Matter of Honor campaign to build the National Law Enforcement Museum, making her a perfect fit for the Guardian program.

Museum Guardian, Elisa Santos

When the Memorial Fund announced its efforts to join with major league sports teams for Law Enforcement Appreciation Events, Elisa immediately called and asked how she could help. There is not a major league sporting venue in Colorado Springs, but there is a minor league professional baseball team—the Colorado Sky Sox—and Elisa reached out to them to organize a Law Enforcement Appreciation Event to be held on May 6, 2012.

Elisa is a strong leader and dedicated volunteer. The Memorial Fund values her leadership and vision to the cause of honoring the service and sacrifice of our men and women in law enforcement.

If you would like to learn how you can organize a local sporting event to support the Memorial Fund and Museum, please contact John Shanks at 202.737.8529 or The Memorial Fund highly encourages our supporters to find your nearest Law Enforcement Appreciation Event and go to show your support. Hope to see you at an upcoming game!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gearing up for National Police Week: Finalizing the Names

With about two months to go until National Police Week, the Memorial Fund’s Research Department has reached a crucial point for this year's engraving —they have tested the proof of the names laid out on the Memorial walls and made final changes to the placement.

Adding the names of fallen officers onto the Memorial is a process that starts long before names are engraved in the spring and formally dedicated on May 13th at the annual Candlelight Vigil. The Memorial Fund’s Research Department works year-round collecting records, running reports and intricately reviewing and approving names, leading up to Police Week.

After several meetings of the Memorial Fund’s Names Committee, comprised of representatives from the Board of Directors, the final list of names that will be engraved is sent to a type setter and to our engravers, who provide proofs of the names which are double and triple checked for spelling errors.

Research takes the proofs to the Memorial, to ensure the names fit on each of the panels on the east and west sides of the Memorial walls. Names of the officers are in no set order on the Memorial; placement generally depends on the length of a name and how it fits onto the width of the panel.

Last year, the engraving process was modified to improve the product of each name engraved.  The new process is more complex and requires that after each panel is engraved, it is stained twice and then allowed to cure for at least 72 hours (weather permitting). The panels cannot be exposed to the elements, nor can names be etched onto paper until the panel is completely cured.

When engraving begins in April, visit for updates on any potential panel or wall closures before visiting the Memorial.  The Memorial Fund apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause our visitors.