Friday, July 8, 2011

Attention Patch Collectors: We Need Your Help!

Get an ODMP patch by helping us obtain missing patches
The ODMP is the most comprehensive memorial for law enforcement officers, preserving the stories of their lives and the history of the agencies they served.

A total of 6,117 different agencies have suffered at least one line of duty death. Displaying a patch on an officer's memorial not only honors the fallen officer, but is also an honor to all other members of that department.

Over the past few years we've been fortunate enough to have received patches or suitable images to display alongside almost every single officer. Unfortunately, however, we're still missing patches from 126 agencies. Most of these agencies are small, rural agencies or no longer exist.

We need your help to fill in the gaps. I'm asking all police patch collectors to check their collections for the patches we need. If you have one, I ask that you send us a high-resolution scanned image so it can be added to the proper memorial.

Click here to view an up-to-date list of every patch that is missing

As an incentive, we'll send an ODMP patch to anyone who sends us a useable patch image of any patch included on the list. Please follow these guidelines for scanning patches:

  • Only scans taken with flatbed scanners can be used. Digital photographs CANNOT be used
  • Scan the patch at a resolution of at least 300 dpi
  • Do not attempt to crop, touch up, or otherwise edit the patch image. Send us the original, full size, high resolution image
  • Email the image to [email protected] with a note about its origin and your address so we can send you the ODMP patch
If you have knowledge that any agency included on the list never wore a patch, and the agency no longer exists, please email us with details at [email protected].

Thank you in advance for your assistance. Together, we can ensure every officer is remembered.

Friday, July 1, 2011

FCPD Honor Guard seminar

Chris and I were honored to accept Lt. Ken Baine's invitation to observe the culmination of Fairfax County Police Department's sixth annual Honor Guard seminar.  Officers from around the country (and Ontario, Canada!) came to Fairfax for three days of intensive Honor Guard training.

The final day of training included a full mock funeral and burial where the officers practice something they hope is never needed: the laying of a brother or sister to rest in a line-of-duty funeral.  But Honor Guards are dedicated in their preparation, and the result of these exercises is the polished professionalism deserved during a funeral with honors.

We pray that these officers never have to put their skills to the test in another line-of-duty funeral, but it was clear that they are well prepared if the time should come.

ODMP strongly encourages all agencies to collaborate in their Honor Guard training; whether that means attending a FCPD or similar seminar, or meeting with neighboring agencies to formalize protocols and support for each other before that kind of organization is needed.  (ODMP's mourning band protocol, authored by Lt. Baine, may be a good starting point for some.)

Thanks again to FCPD Honor Guard Commander, Lt. Baine, and all of the attendees of this year's seminar, for inviting us to observe what you do.

All photos by Donna Spiewak.