Monday, September 30, 2013

Law Enforcement Ambassador & Guardian Spotlight: Keith Kmieciak

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.

The Police Interceptor when it was
first purchased
With two sons and a son-in-law in law enforcement, Keith Kmieciak understands the sacrifice and responsibilities involved in the profession.

The Interceptor after its makeover
Back in March of this year, Keith was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. As a form of therapy and to keep his mind off his diagnosis, Keith and his wife Sue purchased a stripped 2004 Ford Police Interceptor to turn into a memorial vehicle for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

A 42-inch screen in the trunk
Keith and Sue worked on the car each day, installing special features like a 42-inch screen in the trunk with an electronic hydraulic lift to raise it. Keith uses the screen to play the film, Heroes Behind The Badge, to raise further awareness for our cause. The vehicle made its public debut at the Fourth of July parade in South Elgin, IL.

On Saturday, August 31, Keith—whose last scan showed he is cancer-free—displayed the vehicle at the seventh annual Charity Car and Motorcycle Show at the Martin Family Farm in Elburn. He took home the first place prize for the emergency vehicle category.

A special thank you to Keith and Sue for their support of the Memorial Fund!

Keith and his wife Sue with the Ford Interceptor

Keith with the Ford Interceptor

Friday, September 27, 2013

VALOR Program Releases Mid-Year 2013 Officer Training Recommendations

Based on the fatalities information in the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's 2013 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Fatalities Report, the VALOR program formulated the following training recommendations for officers. These recommendations are intended to help prevent violence against law enforcement officers and ensure officer resilience and survivability during violent encounters.

Learn more and sign up for free officer safety trainings at

Finding 1.
Handguns remain the primary weapon used to kill law enforcement officers in the United States.

Recommendation 1.
Close quarter handgun retention training and short distance handgun firing practice are vital to officer survival on the streets. Officers should not merely fulfill their mandatory training obligations but also take time to practice these potentially life-saving skills on a regular basis.
Finding 2.
Job-related illness such as heart attacks quintupled in the first half of 2013 compared to the previous year.

Recommendation 2.
Departments with wellness programs should encourage officers to actively participate and, for those agencies without formal programs, local leadership should promote a healthy style of living, including a nutritious diet and regular exercise routine.
Finding 3.
Fridays are the deadliest day of the week for officers so far in 2013.

Recommendation 3.
Although most citizens look forward to Fridays and the start of their weekend, they can prove to be just as deadly as any other day for law enforcement officers. Supervisors should urge officers to be extra vigilant as they begin their weekend of policing.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Red Sox Law Enforcement Appreciation Night

This past Thursday was a great night in Boston for law enforcement and Red Sox fans! The Red Sox hosted their second annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night, where they put on a spectacular tribute to law enforcement. The on-field tribute occurred right before the National Anthem.

During the on field tribute, Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd, former Officers of the Month and many law enforcement involved in the Boston Marathon bombings lined up on the first base line and introduced individually—they even invited the officers’ families down on the field.

In attendance was the Memorial Fund’s November 2012 Officer of the Month, Trooper Douglas Cropper of the Maine State Police, who on saved countless motorists on Route 295 in Portland, Maine, from an individual who was operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction. Also in attendance was the Memorial Fund’s January 2013 Officer of the Month, Officer Charles Law, of the Stratham (NH) Police Department, who dragged several wounded officers to safety as a result of a gun battle involving a drug dealer in Greenland, NH.

From the Watertown (MA) Police Department: Sergeant John C. MacLellan, Officer Joseph B. Reynolds, Sergeant Jeffrey J. Pugliese, Officer Timothy B. Menton, and Officer Miguel A. Colon, who were all involved in the apprehension of the second Boston Marathon bombing terrorist after a lengthy standoff and gun battle in Watertown. These five Watertown officers were also joined by Chief Edward Deveau, who honored his officers on the field.

Joining them were four Youth Violence Task Force members from the Boston (MA) Police Department who were also involved in the apprehension of the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect in Watertown. They are: Officer Miles Lawton, Officer Gregory McCormack, Officer Gregory Eunis, and Officer Terrique Chambers.

Also in attendance was Massachusetts State Trooper Christopher Dumont, who was significantly involved in the Watertown incident involving the Boston Marathon bombing suspect.

Representing the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), Bill Hampstead, Director of Outreach, Chris Shoppmeyer, Vice President of Agency Affairs, Jenna Surwillo, Chapter Officer for the FLEOA Boston Chapter, and Frank Depippo, Chapter President of the FLEOA New Hampshire chapter.

From the Boston (MA) Police Department, Superintendent William Gross and from the Massachusetts State Police, Trooper Kati Downey was in attendance.

After the introduction of the law enforcement officers, there was heartfelt standing ovation from the crowd! Then the Boston (MA) Police Department and Massachusetts Environmental Police Honor Guards presented the colors.

By the end of the night, the Red Sox had triumphed over the Orioles with a score of 3-1. What a great night for Law Enforcement and their friends, family and supporters!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering the Law Enforcement Heroes Lost on 9-11

Today, at an intimate gathering held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, Memorial Fund staff and friends were joined by US Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers and Amtrak Police Chief Polly Hanson, to honor the 72 peace officers killed tragically on September 11, 2001, the deadliest day in law enforcement history.

Memorial Fund Chief Operating Officer Herbert Giobbi welcomed guests and shared poignant remarks about that tragic day 12 years ago, followed by a reading of the 72 names by Memorial Fund staff members.

"It is hard to believe that this year marks the 12-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. With the passage of time, the horrific events of 9/11 seem to have faded a bit from our collective consciousness,” said Mr. Giobbi. “But the service and sacrifice of the 72 courageous law enforcement heroes who laid down their own lives that day for the safety and protection of others will always be remembered thanks to ceremonies like this and monuments like the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.”

Here are two articles that reflect on the tragic events of 9/11, written by Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd. These articles were published in American Police Beat Magazine, one month after the attacks, and one year later, respectively:

Reflections from "Ground Zero," October 1, 2001
9/11: A Year Later, August 27, 2002

Friday, September 6, 2013

Clear Channel Outdoor creates moving tribute to fallen Maryland Officer

On August 28, 2013, Baltimore County (MD) Police Officer Schneider was killed while serving a warrant. He was the first officer killed in the line of duty in Maryland in 2013.

Recently, our friends at Clear Channel Outdoor decided to create a special tribute for Officer Schneider. They created a billboard in Baltimore that displayed Officer Schneider’s name beside a Baltimore County Police Badge covered with a mourning band.

This tribute from Clear Channel Outdoor was a wonderful show of support for Officer Schneider’s family, and all members of the Baltimore County Police Department, and all of the passersby who see it serving as an important reminder of the sacrifices that our peace officers make for us each and every day in the name of public safety!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our Law Enforcement Family

Did you know that our nation’s law enforcement family comprises more than 16 million people?

There are currently 18,000 agencies that represent over 900,000 active officers patrolling our streets and keeping us safe. To put that in perspective, when you look at the current U.S. population of 319 million people, there is only one law enforcement officer for every 350 civilians!

Fortunately, to support those officers, there are 1.6 million civilians whose efforts are vital to assisting officers. These include dispatchers, equipment managers, information technology specialists, and many more. In addition to our active officers, there are over three million retired officers in the U.S.

If you factor in the families of our current and retired law enforcement officers, as well as the families of the civilians who provide officer support, that number reaches more than 16 million people.

We hope that each and every member of the law enforcement family will have the opportunity to visit the National Law Enforcement Museum when it opens in 2015.