As a law enforcement officer and the father of two young children, I know all too well the fear of leaving them behind. I also recognize that the children of law enforcement officers face a very different reality as they struggle with the thought of why anyone would want to take the life of their parent. For the children whose parent does not return at the end of their shift, they have just experienced their worst fear. The children of law enforcement officers who die in the line of duty are forced to deal with more emotionally than anyone that age should ever have to experience. Band of Blue is a way for every officer in this country to stand with those children at a time when they need us the most.
I recently walked my five-year-old son to the bus on his first day of kindergarten. As he boarded the bus, I kissed him goodbye and told him I couldn’t wait to hear about his first day of school. On my way to work that morning, the radio brought news of a tragic death close to home. It was one of many during my years in law enforcement — but that day was different. I didn’t know right away if this officer had children, but all I could think about was my children getting off the bus that afternoon, excited to tell me about their day, only to learn that I was no longer a part of their life.
Upon arriving home that night, I discovered a pile of papers that my kids had brought home from school. One caught my eye. It was a poem the teacher had each of them place a handprint on. The poem spoke of bravery and facing fear. The poem spoke of watching them grow throughout the year. I thought again of the officer that had died that morning. I thought of the pain that his children would feel when they learned that they would no longer see their parent. It was at that moment that I decided that I needed to create this organization. I decided to devote the rest of my life to this cause that will provide support and a sense of belonging to our law enforcement family at a time when it is needed the most.
Together, we create transformative experiences to help families of fallen officers move forward.