Ambassador Highlight: September 2023

Bill Swank

A Beacon of Dedication
Founder, Light Ohio Blue

In this month’s Officer Safety & Wellness newsletter, we’re thrilled to introduce a special spotlight on the recipient of the coveted Ambassador Impact Award from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). Join us as we delve into the remarkable journey and contributions of Bill Swank, the inaugural recipient of this esteemed award.

Bill Swank’s journey as an Ambassador for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has been nothing short of exceptional. Since 2012, he has dedicated himself to furthering the NLEOMF’s vital mission, which revolves around honoring fallen officers, narrating the rich story of American law enforcement, and ensuring the safety of those who selflessly serve our communities.

Bill Swank’s passion for law enforcement was ignited at an early age, growing up in Zanesville, Ohio. Raised by his mother and grandmother, Bill was a beneficiary of the Big Brothers program, which instilled in him the importance of community support. His determination to pursue a career in law enforcement led him to take college classes while still in high school, an unusual feat. At the age of seventeen, he became part of the Ohio Peace Officers Academy, graduating at the top of his cadet class in 1990, just before his high school graduation.

Throughout his career, Bill Swank demonstrated versatility and dedication to the law enforcement field. His roles ranged from an undercover narcotics officer to a patrol officer and tactical team member. In 1996, he relocated to Columbus, Ohio, where he continued to excel in various roles, including serving as an instructor for academy and advanced training, patrol, and investigations unit supervisor, and leading a criminal investigations unit as a Detective Sergeant. Bill’s outstanding work earned him recognition for investigations, valor, and community service.

In 2002, Bill Swank joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Senior Federal Agent in the Detroit Field Office. In this role, he played a crucial part in counter-terrorism efforts, both domestically and abroad. His dedication to safeguarding national security has been unwavering throughout his thirty-two-year career.

In 2016, Bill Swank took his commitment to a new level by founding Light Ohio Blue, a statewide organization with a profound purpose. This organization is dedicated to honoring fallen law enforcement officers, providing unwavering support to their families during challenging times, and expressing heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated men and women currently serving in law enforcement. Light Ohio Blue serves as a shining example of Bill’s deep-rooted dedication to his community and the law enforcement profession.

Within the NLEOMF Ambassador Program, Bill Swank has played an instrumental role as a member of the Steering Committee. His experience, connections, and keen insights have been invaluable in building a strong foundation for the program’s growth and continued success. Bill’s dedication to the cause goes beyond words; he’s taken tangible steps to ensure its prosperity.

Bill Swank’s selflessness truly shines through in his contributions. He took the initiative to design and develop the first Ambassador Challenge Coin, a symbol of unity and commitment within the program. Remarkably, he personally financed the production of the first 200 coins, offering them as a selfless donation to the Ambassador Program. This gesture reflects Bill’s unwavering dedication to the mission and his desire to recognize the remarkable work of fellow Ambassadors.

Bill Swank’s journey as an Ambassador for the NLEOMF is a testament to the power of unwavering dedication, selfless service, and a profound commitment to honoring those who dedicate their lives to protecting our communities. His contributions, both big and small, have left an indelible mark on the Ambassador Program, the NLEOMF, and the broader law enforcement community. Bill Swank’s legacy is one of inspiration and service, and we are proud to recognize his outstanding contributions.

Inspired by Bill Swank’s dedication to law enforcement and community service? Consider joining the NLEOMF Ambassador Program and become a part of our mission to honor the fallen, tell the story of American law enforcement, and make it safer for those who serve. As an Ambassador, you’ll have unique opportunities to contribute to the noble cause, such as participating in the annual Candlelight Vigil and throwing out the first pitch at Major League Baseball games. Contact us to learn more about how you can make a difference. Your commitment can be a shining light in the world of law enforcement.

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.