During National Police Week May 12-18 members of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) will be at several locations in the Parkland promoting the Blue Ribbon Campaign as a reminder to support those men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty locally and nationwide.
The Blue Ribbon Campaign, sponsored by the organization, is an annual initiative in conjunction with National Police Week to encourage the display of blue ribbons on car antennas. Over 1,000,000 blue ribbons are distributed for National Police Week.
Law enforcement personnel are encouraged to tie blue ribbons to cruiser antennas. Citizens are encouraged to tie blue ribbons to their car antennas.
Jerry Hicks Jr., son of former Leadwood Police Chief Jerry Hicks who died in the line of duty and C.O.P.S advocate, discusses the importance of honoring law enforcement officers during this week. Chief Hicks died Dec. 4, 2011 as the result of injuries he sustained in an on-duty vehicle accident Nov. 29 on Highway 8 in Washington County.
"It's never been done in St. Francois County that I know of. This event has been going on as long as I remember, but I never took an interest until my dad got killed in the line of duty a couple years ago. And they (C.O.P.S.) came to the rescue for me and my family so to speak with support," Hicks said.
Hicks said the organization was there for support and to act as a liaison to other resources available.
"Basically they are a great support group. And they're local. They are also willing to help out on the emotional side. I've called them on several things that I've needed help with or concerning a certain thing and they've put us in touch with the right people. So they have a lot of resources to help out families," Hicks said.
The antenna ribbons are free, but the organization does accept donations in order to continue the work they do in the community and nationwide.
While honoring and remembering our fallen officers is vitally important, C.O.P.S mission is to help the officer's family and affected co-workers learn to live again. During National Police Week, C.O.P.S. helps survivors discover the on-going programs that are an essential part in rebuilding shattered lives.
C.O.P.S. hosts the National Police Survivors' Conference and C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens Program each year. Each provides a safe haven for adult and minor survivors to begin their process of healing after the death of their officer. During these two-day events, survivors will hear from experts in grief counseling and build a peer network on which they will rely as they return home to a new "normal" life.
A nationwide not-for-profit organization with 53 Chapters around the country, members of C.O.P.S. are always prepared to help survivors when they need it, where they need it.
Based in Camdenton, Concerns of Police Survivors was founded in 1984 for the surviving families of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Today C.O.P.S. serves nearly 30,000 people who have identified themselves as survivors nationwide. According to C.O.P.S., they provide programs at no cost to survivors, as they have already paid too high a price.
Visit www.nationalcops.org for more information on the organization.