Ben Bolton, Alexandria (VA) Police Department
My journey as a National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Ambassador came about in the most stereotypical of police ways. I was looking for free coffee and donuts at the first National Peace Officers Memorial Service on May 15, 1990, which I was attending to honor my fallen colleague, Cpl. Charles W. Hill (Alexandria [VA] Police Department, EOW 3-22-89, Memorial Panel: 61-E: 5). I saw several officers walking around with coffee and donuts and learned where to get on line. When I got to the front I was asked, “Escort or representative officer?” I had no idea what she meant and replied, “I’m here for coffee and donuts.” She said, “You’re an escort officer. Go over to that line.”
Cpl. Charles William Hill
Memorial Panel: 61-E:5
Memorial Panel: 61-E:5
I was assigned to escort a family member of a fallen officer from Texas, escorting them to the stage as they placed a rose in the wreath during the service. This was my introduction to National Police Week and the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).
I was so honored to represent a fallen officer whom I had never met. I then became a member of the C.O.P.S. National Police Week Committee, where I met many of the NLEOMF representatives that I would become lifelong friends with.
Subsequent National Police Week activities began with me working by myself and taking annual leave to volunteer my time in the early days, and later become a multi-jurisdictional effort that involved dozens of officers from jurisdictions throughout the Washington metropolitan area. This included staffing the hotels, escorting the buses of survivors to the Candlelight Vigil and National Peace Officers Memorial Service, providing hotel security with area SWAT teams, etc. We would also do anything possible to help the surviving families and coworkers of fallen officers, such as driving them to get medicine, driving them to a restaurant, a uniform shop for something they forgot…anything they needed, we provided.
After retirement in 2013, I continued to volunteer during National Police Week while working as a contractor to the federal government. After hearing about the NLEOMF Ambassador Program in the monthly newsletter, I immediately submitted my application. I was excited to help law enforcement agencies and police survivors once again during National Police Week and throughout the year. I was even more excited to have been selected as an NLEOMF Ambassador this past October. I look forward to giving rollcall training to agencies and to police executives, giving them presentations about the NLEOMF’s three pillars: the Memorial, the Museum and our Officer Safety and Wellness program. The Officer Safety and Wellness program is what I am looking forward to most, as I spread the word about the great resources available through the program. These include tactical safety, psychological health, fitness and health, and vehicle and roadside safety. During my career I lost three coworkers in the line-of-duty, as well as two others to suicide. After serving the citizens of Alexandria, Virginia for 25 years, I now look forward to this new chapter of serving the entire law enforcement community across our great nation.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Ambassador Program promotes the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, National Law Enforcement Museum, and the Officer Safety and Wellness programming through outreach, resources, and education.
All active and retired law enforcement officers are encouraged to apply. Start your application process.