Monday, July 6, 2015

Officer Down Memorial Page: End of Watch Report June 2015

June 2015 fortunately had fewer line of duty deaths than the preceding month.  However, with nine line of duty deaths, it was still a tragic and deadly month.

One death was the result of a 9/11-related illness: the 162nd law enforcement officer to die as a direct result of the terror attack on September 11, 2001.

Five of the nine line of duty deaths this month were vehicular -- one motorcycle accident, two automobile accidents, and two accidents during vehicle pursuits.  These incidents bring the number of auto-related deaths in 2015 up to 28, a 4% increase over this time last year, and a sobering reminder of the dangers inherent in even the most routine aspects of this job.

Two of the deaths this month were the result of felonious gunfire, bringing the total number up to 16 this year.

The other line of duty death in June occurred when an officer died due to complications during a surgical procedure required because of an assault he sustained in February of this year.

Please take a moment to recognize these heroes whose watch ended in June 2015:

Deputy U.S. Marshal Zacarias Toro 
Department of Justice, U.S. Marshals Service
EOW Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sheriff Ladson O'Connor
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, GA
EOW Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Officer Rick Silva
Chehalis Police Department, WA
EOW Thursday, June 18, 2015

Officer Sonny Kim
Cincinnati Police Department, OH
EOW Friday, June 19, 2015

Officer Daryle Holloway
New Orleans Police Department, LA
EOW Saturday, June 20, 2015

Trooper Eric K. Chrisman
Kentucky State Police, KY
EOW Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sergeant Christopher Kelley
Hutto Police Department, TX
EOW Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sergeant Korby Kennedy
San Angelo Police Department, TX
EOW Thursday, June 25, 2015

Officer David Joseph Nelson
Bakersfield Police Department, CA
EOW Saturday, June 26, 2015

The Officer Down Memorial Page extends our deepest condolences to the families, friends, and agencies of these fallen heroes.  May they rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Run for the Blue 5K

If you're looking for another way to support law enforcement, consider participating in the Run for the Blue 5K taking place this September in Clayton County, GA.

The Run for the Blue 5K is being organized and spear-headed by the family of  Mackenna Gosart, the 14-year old cross country runner who logged 118 miles this past January to honor each of the officers killed in the line of duty in the United States in 2014. 

As did her run in January, the Run for the Blue 5K this fall will support our friends at the Armor of God Project, a non-profit organization that provides tactical and ballistic vests to officers who are not issued them by their agencies and often cannot afford the expensive purchase on their own.  Mackenna already raised over $11,000 for Armor of God during her inspiration 118-mile month in January, and she's looking to continue her good work with this 5K in September.  Learn more about the Armor of God project here.

The Run for the Blue 5K also has a virtual option, so even if you're not in Georgia, you can register as a Ghost Runner and support this important cause from anywhere.

Get your tickets here, and support this great event!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

ODMP Director to Participate in the World Police and Fire Games

The World Police and Fire Games are a biennial, international sporting event in which police officers, firefighters, customs, and corrections officers from around the world come together to compete in athletic and sporting events.  This event, founded in 1985, has grown to include nearly 12,000 athletes from all over the world who will compete in more than 65 events.  This year the WPFG will be held in Fairfax, VA and the National Capital Region from June 26th through July 5th.

We are excited to announce that the Officer Down Memorial Page will have a representative at this year's games!  Chris Cosgriff, Founder and Director of ODMP, is also a full-time police officer in the state of Virginia. He'll be a participant in the Games, riding in the 43.5 mile cycling road race. This will be his first time participating in the World Police and Fire Games.

"I think it's going to be a really great experience and I'm looking forward to participating.  With so many public safety professionals from all around the world coming together to compete, the WPFG is a really unique event," says Cosgriff. 

Cosgriff, an avid cyclist, also participated in Law Enforcement United's Road to Hope bicycle ride during National Police Week this year, his fifth consecutive time taking part in that event.  The Road to Hope honors the service and sacrifices of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

"The WPFG will be a very different experience from the LEU Road to Hope, I'm sure," adds Cosgriff.  "The Road to Hope event pays tribute to fallen law enforcement, so the the purpose behind the ride is very different.  At the Games, though, it's more about the competition and camaraderie.  I'm honored to represent my police department and the Officer Down Memorial Page."
Learn more about the World Police and Fire Games here and make sure to check in and see how Cosgriff fares in the cycling road race.

Friday, May 15, 2015

National Peace Officers' Memorial Day

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed into a law a bill designating today -- May 15th -- as National Peace Officers' Memorial Day. 

Today, and every day, we at the Officer Down Memorial Page pay tribute to the fallen law enforcement heroes who gave their lives to protect and serve.

We recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women who wear the badge, and we offer our heartfelt appreciation for all that they do.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Band of Blue: ODMP hosts the National Police Week 5K

The National Police Week 5K is proudly hosted by the Officer Down Memorial Page

Each year, The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) proudly hosts the National Police Week 5K (NPW5K) in Washington D.C. to kick off National Police Week.

As the 2015 NPW5K approaches, we at ODMP would like to recognize those who support the law enforcement community: the individuals across the country and around the world who acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifice of the men and women behind the badge. 

These people make up what we like to call the Band of Blue

While the “Thin Blue Line” has long been the symbol that represents law enforcement officers (LEOs) who bravely work to protect and serve the public, those of us who have taken that oath to protect and serve understand that the blue line is made up not only of police officers, but of our family, friends, and community supporters as well.
This May, many members of the Band of Blue will come together to run in the National Police Week 5K. 

Together, we will remember those law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty.  Together, we will support the organizations that pay tribute to those heroes and provide support to their survivors. 

Together, we will make a difference.

We hope you will join us.

Thank you for supporting our LEOs. Thank you for being part of the Band of Blue.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Line of Duty Deaths in the 21st Century

The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) maintains an extensive database with information on the more than 22,000 law enforcement line of duty deaths (LODDs) in United States history.  This data, though, is only useful if it is analyzed and publicized so that people can understand how, where, and when line of duty deaths most often occur.

With this thought in mind, ODMP director Chris Cosgriff set out to create a visual representation of our most recent LODDs---those that have taken place since 2000---with the hope that law enforcement agencies, training academies, and other groups will display it, share it, and learn from it.

Says Cosgriff, "The ODMP infographic showing line of duty deaths in the US from 2000-2014 gives a stark look at the dangers and truths of modern law enforcement, and illustrates in simple terms the sacrifice that law enforcement officers make.  Looking at these statistics, it is clear that line of duty deaths can happen to any officer--young or old, rookie or veteran.  It's vital that we use our information to educate the public and law enforcement officers alike on the real dangers that exist today." 

With this information, ODMP hopes to raise awareness so that the public can truly understand the dangers that law enforcement officers face and so that officers can adjust their tactics, driving habits, and so on in order to improve their own safety.

This poster is available as a free download on the Officer Down Memorial Page website.  It is printable up to sixe 13x19.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Georgia Teen Runs To Support Law Enforcement

MacKenna Gosart, a 13 year old runner from Georgia, is proving that age is not a factor when it comes to supporting the law enforcement community.

Gosart, who runs cross-country for her school, spent the month of January 2015 running one mile for each law enforcement officer who died in the line of duty in 2014 -- a total of 118 miles for the 118 officers whose watch ended last year.  She was inspired by her father, who works in law enforcement in Clayton County (GA), when she heard him discussing the line of duty deaths with a friend.

When family and friends learned about MacKenna's tribute, they wanted to help too.  Pledges and donations came in from all over, and by the end of the month, MacKenna had raised $11,000.  She donated that money to ODMP partner Armor of God, a non-profit organization that provides ballistic vests to law enforcement officers whose departments cannot issue them to every officer, and who often cannot afford the costly item on their own.

Clint Reck, the founder and director of Armor of God and a Captain with the Muscle Shoals (Alabama) Police Department said he was amazed and speechless when he got the call from MacKenna's father.

"I truly believe there are two things that will never change in Law Enforcement. The first is our mission to protect and serve our communities and fellow citizens -- a mission that has grown more dangerous each and every day," says Reck.  "The second is our commitment to working as a team to accomplish that mission. It is amazing for a teenager to be so focused on helping law enforcement officers across the country stay safe."

With the money from MacKenna, Reck says that Armor of God has already been able to send over 100 vests out to officers in need -- an average of 20 vests each week. The funds also helped cover the cost of shipping a large number of vests donated by the High Point (North Carolina) Police Department.   In addition, MacKenna's donation enabled Armor of God to incorporate and file for their 501(c)3, making their status as a non-profit official.  They've also started work on the creation of a new website that will streamline the process through which officers request and donate vests. 

And now, the Officer Down Memorial Page is proud to count MacKenna Gosart as a member of the National Police Week 5K  Virtual Team.  The NPW5K, hosted by ODMP, takes place in Washington DC during National Police Week in May each year. 

Since MacKenna will still be in the middle of her cross-country season, she can't make it to DC.  Instead, she'll be running a virtual 5K in Georgia, and helping, once again, to raise funds to support law enforcement.

MacKenna ran her first 5K with her dad when she was about seven years old.   "It wasn't a great showing, but it was a start to a great running journey," she says.  "When I run, I can escape from any stress or pressure that is bothering me, and it just makes me feel good. The race bling is an added bonus!"

And just how much does she run?  MacKenna says, "I run about 25-30 miles a week if I'm in training, but no less than 3 miles, 6 days a week during the off season. I'm not sure exactly how many races I've run, but if I had to guess, I'd say I've run about thirty 5Ks since I was seven.  I also run 10K and 15K races, and I'm going to run a 10-Miler and 1/2 Marathon this fall."

When asked what made her want to use her talent to support law enforcement, MacKenna said, "There are so many people in this world that don't realize what our men and women in blue do for us every day. They work long hours, for little pay, and it's a dangerous job. My dad has been in law enforcement for 6 years and I've seen the effects of this daily task. These courageous officers deserve so much more respect than what they get.  I just thought I could help."

ODMP is proud to have MacKenna on our Virtual 5K team. 

If you'd like to donate to MacKenna's fundraising page, click here.