Spotlight on Law Enforcement January 2019

(Megan O’Grady) Megan O’Grady started Blue Line Bears two years ago. She makes and delivers teddy bears to the families of fallen police officers.

Teen makes personalized teddy bears for families of fallen police officers

Megan O’Grady not only makes the bears but travels to deliver them.

By Enjoli Francis and Susan Schwartz,  ABC News, January 4, 2019

This new year, one Florida teen is pushing forward with her mission to ensure that the families and particularly children of fallen law enforcement officers have a little something to cuddle to help them remember their loved ones.

Megan O’Grady, 16, of Cape Coral, Florida, runs the nonprofit organization Blue Line Bears, which makes and delivers personalized teddy bears.

This week, she and her parents traveled to Denver to deliver bears that she’d made for the family of Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Heath Gumm, 32, who was killed while on duty in January 2018.

Using the uniform shirt of the fallen officer, which she gets from relatives or the police department, O’Grady sews and stuffs bears that wear miniature versions of the uniforms including the officer’s name, badge number and even department.

It takes O’Grady, a high school junior, up to two days to complete each bear.

“Part of the reason that I started this was because there’s such a negativity towards police. … It has really lifted my spirits knowing that there are so many people out there who really care about police.”

Read article | Watch Video

Ohio law enforcement honored at NHL game

Ohio law enforcement honored at NHL game
Ohio law enforcement honored at NHL game

November was a busy month as the NHL hosted several Law Enforcement Appreciation Nights in honor of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. On November 17 the Columbus Blue Jackets hosted their annual First Responders/Law Enforcement Night which was a huge success.

A sold-out crowd watched the Blue Jackets beat the visiting New York Rangers with a final score of 2-0.

The Columbus (OH) Division of Police Mounted, Motorcycle & Freeway Units were on hand, as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Columbus Division of Fire, to greet arriving fans.

The Columbus Division of Police Motorcycle and Freeway Units provided a VIP escort to the family of Kirkersville (OH) Police Chief Eric DiSario from their home to the game. They were hosted by the Blue Jackets at a pregame experience on the ice, and after the game they were invited in the Blue Jackets locker room by player Cam Atkinson.

Ohio law enforcement honored at NHL gameSeveral families of first responders were able to greet players as they entered the ice and children of local law enforcement officers were able to ride the Zamboni throughout the evening.

During the first intermission the Columbus Division of Police Chief Kim Jacobs’ patrol cruiser was driven around the ice by CPD Officer of the Month Anthony L. Johnson.

Interactive stations were located throughout the arena for the fans to visit, along with K9 demonstrations by Columbus Airport Police Officer David Knepper and his K9 partner.

The Franklin County (OH) Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad brought their robot to explain how they use their special equipment.

Special thanks to the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, especially Malinda Smith, Dani Knell and Cam Atkinson. Our thanks to the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, Columbus Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police for their continued support of this great event.

Memorial Commemorates 25th Anniversary with FBI National Academy

Dressed in the standard khaki cargo pants and green polo
shirts, the members of the 266th Session of the FBI National Academy
walked among walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on
Wednesday night. As the sun started to set, they kneeled by the 20,789 names.
Some sat nearby in silence, others etched names they recognized onto paper.

The officers looked across E Street at the wide 30-foot hole
in the ground, part of the construction that will eventually become the
National Law Enforcement Museum. They talk about making a trip back to
Washington, DC, in mid-2018, when the Museum is slated to open.
The FBI’s Jeffery S. McCormick started the wreathlaying
ceremony with the introduction, welcoming the 266th Session to the
Memorial. The presentation of colors was provided by the Alexandria (VA) Police
Department.
Memorial Fund President and CEO Craig W. Floyd was happy to
have the members of the National Academy at the Memorial this week.
“Tonight you help us commemorate a very special milestone in
law enforcement history,” he said. “It was 25 years ago this past Saturday, on
October 15, 1991, when we dedicated this majestic monument that was built to
honor the men and women in law enforcement. To honor our service, remember
those who have sacrificed their lives in the performance of duty.”
Mr. Floyd took a few minutes to share the history of the
Memorial, how it was built and the special significance of Judiciary Square,
where the Memorial, and soon the Museum, stands.
“It was in 1972 when a detective from Suffolk County in New
York, by the name of Donald Guilford, had the vision to build a national law
enforcement officers memorial. And he took that to his local Congressman, and
they introduced a bill. Language for some time, but ultimately they went to a
leader among law enforcement. His name was Mario Biaggi, a Congressman from New
York City. He had served for 23 years with the New York City Police Department.
A legendary figure, he was wounded 10 times in the line of duty, the most decorated
officer in New York City history when he retired in 1965. He served 20 years in
Congress, and he always said one of his proudest, if not the proudest, achievement he ever had was the establishment of the
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
“He introduced the legislation, became law in 1984. And
after seven years of dedicated effort, we opened this monument to the public.
It wasn’t easy. It took us two years to pick the specific site it should be
built on. Congress didn’t legislate that. So we scoured the city, and we came
upon Judiciary Square, where we’re standing here tonight. They say that
President George Washington once stood in this very place. He decided that this
Judiciary Square would become the seat of our judicial branch of government, the
seat of criminal justice in America. It’s one of the three major spaces they
designed Washington around. We felt that this was the spot to honor the men and
women who enforce the laws of our nation, and keep the peace.
“So in 1991, when we dedicated this memorial, there were
12,561 names added to these Memorial walls. It was a Herculean task to identify
those fallen heroes. It’s never been done before. We were the first.”

Minnesota Wild Supports Law Enforcement at Special Game

On Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild held their annual law enforcement night to honor and recognize Minnesota Law Enforcement.

The Wild battled the Los Angeles Kings in an exciting game where the Wild came out on top in a final score of 6-3.

This special night benefited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and each fan that purchased a discounted ticket through the special offer received a co-branded Minnesota Wild and Memorial Fund rally towel and were treated to a pregame party.

Prior to the game, law enforcement friends, family and supporters gathered on the ice for a photo.

The next Minnesota Wild law enforcement night will take place in early 2017. For other law enforcement night events with NHL teams across the country visit www.LawMemorial.org/sports.

We salute the Minnesota Wild on supporting the thin blue line. Good luck this season!

Law Enforcement Recognized Throughout Major League Baseball

On Saturday, September 17, the Cleveland Indians brought their entire “Tribe” out as the Indians battled the Detroit Tigers in extra innings as they continue to fight for the playoffs and a chance to win the American League Central. The Indians won 1-0.

Not only was it a big win for the “Tribe” but it was a special win for law enforcement as the Indians held their annual Law Enforcement Night at Progressive Field.

Before the game started, a moment of silence was held in honor of Ohio State Trooper Kenneth Velez who was struck and killed by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop in Cleveland on September 15. Trooper Velez is the seventh officer to be struck and killed in 2016 and the fourth law enforcement fatality for the state of Ohio.

The National Anthem was performed by Sergeant Michael Maughmer of the Ohio State Highway Patrol as the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard presented the colors.

Throwing out the first pitch (which was a strike) and representing Federal Law Enforcement was Ohio native and current United States Marshal of the Northern District of Ohio Peter Elliott.

Despite the overcast weather, 26,654 were attendance to witness a great game and a great night supporting law enforcement, which raised over $2,700 for the Memorial Fund.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund would like to thank JP Makari and the Group Sales Team, Cleveland Indians Community Impact Team, Bill Swank, Ohio Chiefs of Police Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Cleveland Chapter and the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police for their support and making it a great event.

Also around the league, Texas Rangers also hosted Law Enforcement Night on Saturday, honoring our August 2016 Officer of the Month Award winners Ed Pietrowski and Michael Sarro. This event was held in partnership with the Texas Rangers and the Police Officers Angel Foundation. Special thanks to Maria Alvarado and Zak Ganter.

For the latest law enforcement sporting events, visit www.lawmemorial.org/sports.

Twin Cities Honor Law Enforcement on 9-11 Anniversary

The afternoon game on Sunday, Sept. 11, was a day to remember in the Twin Cities as the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians honored and recognized Minnesota law enforcement and paid tribute to those who died on the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Great weather was on hand as more than 20,300 were in attendance for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Before the game, representatives from the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association, Minnesota Sheriffs Association and the Concerns of Police Survivors’ (C.O.P.S.) Minnesota Chapter gathered at home plate as the St. Paul Police Department Honor Guard presented the colors during the national anthem. The Minnesota Twins Territory Flag was raised and saluted by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association’s Minnesota Chapter.

The Minnesota Twins salute law enforcement and thank everyone for attending and supporting the annual event. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund would like to give special thanks to Luis Breazeal and Sam Henschen and to the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association for going above and beyond and making this a great event.

Other NLEOMF events that took place on Sunday, Sept. 11, included games with the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. For the latest in law enforcement appreciation sporting events visit www.lawmemorial.org/sports.

Kansas City Honors Law Enforcement

On Monday, July 18, the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball teamed up with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund as they hosted the annual Law Enforcement Night at the “K” as the World Series Champions Kansas City Royals battled the Cleveland Indians. The Royals beat the Indians in a final score of 7-3.

More than 38,000 were in attendance on this special night which gave the general public along with family and friends to come out to the “K” and honor and thank law enforcement.

The Royals’ support for police took on extra significance that evening in wake of recent shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Slain Kansas City (KS) Police Detective Brad Lancaster was also honored by the Kansas City Royals. Detective Lancaster was killed in the line of duty earlier this year helping other officers respond to a suspicious person near the Kansas Speedway.

Detective Lancaster daughters threw out the first pitch as Kansas City Police Officer Dustin Dierenfeldts sang the National Anthem.

Royals manager Ned Yost says he has a deep respect for the officers who work at Kauffman Stadium and on the streets.

“We know how important they are to everybody’s safety,” Yost said before the game. “To continue to find ways and to support them for what they do. They are very important to this community and every community.”

Our thanks goes out to all the law enforcement officers and the Royals fans that attended, special thanks to Royals Group Sales Representative Ariel Peralta and Community Relations Director Ben Aken. For the latest on law enforcement sporting events visit www.lawmemorial.org/sports.

Washington Nationals Host Law Enforcement Night

In the second game of a doubleheader, the Washington Nationals hosted law enforcement officers, their families and supporters on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Anne Arundel County State Attorney W‎es Adams joined Police Unity Tour members Maggie Deboard, Tim Benedict and Karen Bonz on the field for a pre-game ceremony.

Law Enforcement Appreciation Night with the Nationals

Police Unity Tour 2016

Shortly after 2 pm today, over 2,000 members of the Police Unity Tour completed their long journey to Washington, DC. Participants traveled hundreds of miles over the past three days to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Friends, family and supporters gathered at the Memorial, waving signs and cheering on the participants as they finished the long ride. The Police Unity Tour’s motto is “We Ride for Those Who Died” and is one that each rider seriously embraces. Participants not only trained hard for the 300 mile average ride but also raised money to provide awareness and financial support for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

After all riders had entered the Memorial, a brief ceremony was held, and the Police Unity Tour presented a check for $2.32 million to Craig W. Floyd, President & CEO of the the Memorial Fund.

We thank all the members of the Police Unity Tour, who worked tirelessly to ensure the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement heroes are forever remembered. Their generosity, commitment and unity are vital to honoring all officers killed in the line of duty.

37th Annual Washington Area Police Memorial Service

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of Washington, DC, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1, and the DC Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors hosted the 37th Annual Washington Area Police Memorial Service at MPD’s Headquarters in downtown DC, with Shawn Anderson of WTOP News as master of ceremonies.

This annual service recognizes the work of all DC Metro area law enforcement officers. Special recognition was given to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2015, including Carolyn Cross, Craig Chandler, Noah Leotta, and Brennan Rabain.

Following the presentation of colors and the national anthem, introductory remarks were given by District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, followed by remarks from Representatives from the DC Department of Corrections, Baltimore City Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, and Prince George’s County Police Department spoke about their officers lost in the past year, which was followed by a solemn roll call of fallen heroes from the DC Metro area.

Survivors, law enforcement officers and friends placed blue roses as the names of the fallen were read.

The names of the officers honored at the service today will be dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at the 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil this Friday, May 13 at 8:00 pm, along with 252 other officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

For more information about National Police Week 2016, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.LawMemorial.org/PoliceWeek.