Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Law Enforcement Ambassador & Guardian Spotlight: Gary Jones

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 our goals.

Earlier this month, Law Enforcement Ambassador Gary Jones partnered with his local Books-A-Million in Tallahassee, to hold a special all-day book fair in support of the Memorial Fund. Gary—who was a police officer in Florida for over 36 years and retired as a captain with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in 1993—has written a number of non-fiction books based on cases in Florida. His love of law enforcement, volunteer work, books, and education came together to inspire the idea of a book fair. Gary reached out to the store manager and began planning the event—as a way to honor the memory of Officer Ponce de Leon, who was killed in the line of duty 25 years ago, and to support the Memorial and the law enforcement profession. 

The Tallahassee Books-A-Million designated July 8th as Officer Ponce de Leon Day at their store. Throughout the day, when a customer showed the cashier a special voucher, the store donated a portion of book sale proceeds to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. A table near the store's main entrance offered visitors some materials and information about the Memorial and the forthcoming National Law Enforcement Museum. 

It turned out to be a great event that not only raised awareness about the Memorial Fund, but drew attention to the important efforts of law enforcement officers—like Officer Ponce de Leon—in Florida and across the country.

Ambassador Gary Jones also holds book signings during National Police Week in the Memorial’s Visitors Center & Store, and donates a portion of his personal book sales to the Memorial Fund. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig Floyd speaks at Broward County (FL) Memorial Service

On Wednesday, July 24th, Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd spoke at the Broward County (FL) Sherriff's Officer during a poignant service honoring three of their officers.

The stories of three Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies who were killed in the line of duty will be included in a video tribute at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. The three tributes were paid for by American Maritime Officers and by American Maritime Officers Service. They were shown during a presentation at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, after which relatives of BSO deputies Patrick Kelly Behan, Brian Keith Tephford and Paul Rein received a copy of the video.

Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig Floyd
speaking during the memorial service
Each video tribute is about five minutes long and will be housed in the National Law Enforcement Museum, accessible online and in person when the museum’s doors open in 2016.

 For more information on the Memorial Fund's Recorded Memorial Tribute program, visit our website.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Senate and House Honor the Sacrifice of Two Fallen Capitol Police Officers

Source: Office of the Speaker of the House
On July 24, the Leaders of the House and Senate gathered with the families of Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson for a wreath-laying ceremony. Chestnut and Gibson were slain on July 24, 1998 while defending the Capitol from a gunman who entered through the Document Door entrance.

By an act of Congress in 1998, the Document Door was renamed the Chestnut-Gibson Memorial Door. Every year, the sacrifice of these law enforcement officers is honored with a ceremony and a moment of silence.

Detective Gibson was a Capitol Police officer assigned to Congressman Tom DeLay’s protection detail. Officer Chestnut was a Capitol Police officer who was on duty at the Document Door entrance. Both officers lay in honor in the Capitol rotunda—Chestnut was the first African American to receive that honor—and are now buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Both officers’ names are also engraved on the Memorial wall.

Thank you, Detective Gibson and Officer Chestnut, for your ultimate sacrifice.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ambush Attacks Were the Leading Cause of Firearms-Related Law Enforcement Deaths in the First Half of 2013

According to preliminary data, gathered as part of our 2013 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Fatalities Report, 17 of the 51 law enforcement fatalities recorded nationwide in the first half of 2013 were firearms-related—making it the second leading cause of death so far this year. And, even more disturbingly, the leading cause of these firearms-related fatalities was ambush-style assaults, with seven officers killed at the hands in those circumstances. This is the second year in a row in which ambushes were the leading cause of deaths, a trend that we cannot afford to ignore.

Circumstances of Fatal Shootings: Mid-year 2013

The VALOR program was created to respond to this precipitous increase in ambush-style assaults that have taken the lives of many law enforcement officers, providing critical nationwide training and technical assistance to sworn state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers. VALOR, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, offers free trainings to help agencies adequately prepare officers for the threats they face while on duty.

Keep an eye out for upcoming VALOR trainings near you by keeping up with our announcements on Facebook and checking the VALOR website. There are currently upcoming trainings in Minnesota and Massachusetts.

A Tribute to Dennis Farina

By Craig Floyd, Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO

Dennis Farina
Image by David Shankbone
via Wikimedia Commons
The Memorial Fund has lost a great friend. Dennis Farina, the long-time real-life Chicago cop turned famous film and television actor, died yesterday at the age of 69. Law enforcement and the entertainment industry have lost one of their finest.

I will always be grateful for the strong and important support that Dennis provided our organization as National Celebrity Chairman when we were building the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. He was always there whenever we needed him and he could not have been more gracious. He participated in press conferences during the early days of the Memorial campaign, and he later attended the Memorial dedication in 1991 and the Memorial’s 10-year anniversary gala in 2001.

I ran into him a few years ago at the Friars’ Club in New York City and it was like reuniting with an old friend. Our condolences go out to his family and especially to his longtime partner, Marianne Cahill, who joined Dennis at many of our events. Dennis will be missed, but not forgotten by us here at the Memorial Fund.

Craig W. Floyd
Chairman and CEO
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Law Enforcement Career Explorers Visit the Memorial

Today, a group of 30 Law Enforcement Career Explorers and 5 advisors, managed by the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to learn more about the ultimate sacrifice paid by Law Enforcement Officers, including 29 Secret Service agents, around the nation.

Retired Newport MN Police Chief
Veid Muiznieks 
The group's brief ceremony was led by Retired Newport Minnesota Police Chief Veid Muiznieks. Chief Muiznieks is a senior advisor with the Law Enforcement Career Explorers and has overseen 390 explorers during his tenure with the organization. During the ceremony, Chief Muiznieks told the story of the first Secret Service agent that died in the line of duty, Operative William Craig. Operative Craig was struck and killed by a trolley car in 1902 while protecting President Theodore Roosevelt in Lenox, Massachusetts. His name can be located on the National Memorial on panel 16E. The Explorers then placed a wreath at that panel to honor Operative Craig.

Law Enforcement Career Exploring is a career orientation and experience program for young people contemplating a career in the field of criminal justice. It's mission is to offer young adults, ages 14-21, interested in a career in law enforcement a personal awareness of the criminal justice system through training, practical experience and other activities. Agencies from federal, state, and local levels coordinate the Law Enforcement Exploring programs throughout the United States. The majority of the community programs are managed by local police departments, including Sheriffs, Chiefs of Police, and State Police. In addition, many federal agencies offer their support.

The USSS Explorer group comes to the memorial every other year.

USSS Law Enforcement Explorers Group

Monday, July 15, 2013

Memorial Fund 2013 Mid-year Fatality Report Featured in National News Outlets

Last Thursday, July 11, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in conjunction with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) released our 2013 Mid-Year Fatality Report. According to preliminary data, 51 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2013. This is a nine percent increase over the same period in 2012.'s article "NLEOMF: Work Left to be Done in Preventing LODDs" posted last Friday assisted with further expanding on the findings of the Mid-Year fatality report. In addition to an in depth examination of the report's data, posted a podcast featuring the Memorial Fund's Chairman and CEO Craig Floyd speaking with Associate Editor Paul Peluso about the data from the report as well as what is being done to prevent on-duty deaths and enhance the safety of officers.

Download and listen to the Podcast Here » - Source

The Memorial Fund's 2013 Mid-Year Fatality Report was also featured by WUSA9, KUAR and WSB Radioamong others. You can find the 2013 Mid-Year Fatality report and read it for yourself here, and you can also view an interactive state map and further information here.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Law Enforcement Explorers Visit the Memorial

The Law Enforcement Explorer Leadership Academy, hosted by the U.S. Marshals Service, visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this week as part of their summer session in Washington, DC. Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd met with the Explorers and shared powerful stories about some of the officers, namely U.S. Marshals, whose names are inscribed on the Memorial walls.

Law Enforcement Exploring is a career orientation and experience program for young people (ages 14-21) contemplating a career in the field of criminal justice. Its mission is to offer young adults a personal awareness of the criminal justice system through training, practical experiences, and other activities.

The National Law Enforcement Exploring Leadership Academies are biennial events, hosted by federal law enforcement agencies, which provide select Explorers with the opportunity to learn the dynamics of leadership and other skills. Information about Law Enforcement Exploring can be found on their website