Concerns of Police Survivors, also known as C.O.P.S., is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1984 by co-founders Suzie Sawyer and Trudy Chapman. They started the organization because they found that there was a need for the support of surviving spouses that wasn’t being met. In the early days the surviving spouses would meet in Suzie’s basement in Maryland simply because they needed each other and they needed a safe place where they could talk openly with other survivors. What began as a small network of people, just 10 surviving spouses, grew to a membership of over 54,000 survivors.
In 1993 the organization moved their headquarters to Camdenton, Missouri and is now considered one of the largest law enforcement support services in the nation. C.O.P.S. has over 50 chapters nationwide that provide support in every community. The organization is committed to setting goals and working tirelessly at providing resources for the families and co-workers of law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty. Our partnership began almost 3 years ago when we reached out to Lauren Crisman, the Development Director, to talk about our Give Blue fundraising efforts to help the families of fallen officers. It was an important meeting for us because we wanted to create a partnership with an organization that had common goals where we could collaborate on projects towards the support of law enforcement communities.
We began our Give Blue campaign in 2017 and have raised over $500,000 in memory of officers killed in the line of duty. Included in the Give Blue campaign, we hosted fundraisers in memory of Officer’s Christopher Lawton, Jesus Cordova, Michael Chesna, Joseph Gomm, and Michael Michalski and through our fundraising efforts raised over $7,000, 100% of the profits were donated to the C.O.P.S. organization as directed by the families. In recent years, as the partnership has grown, we have increased our financial contributions and in kind donations to C.O.P.S. to over $49,000 by supporting the C.O.P.S. National Police Survivors’ Conference, the C.O.P.S. National Conference on Law Enforcement Wellness and Trauma, and the C.O.P.S. Annual Golf Tournament.
I had the privilege of talking with Lauren Crisman and Chris Kahmke from the organization during an interview where I asked them about some of the projects we worked on as partners that stood out to them. One of the things that stood out to Chris was a project we worked on in December of 2019, for the winter addition of the C.O.P.S. Hope Magazine. It was the first time they highlighted their partners from a development standpoint. The goal was to take their partners that were making a difference for the organization and who were supporting the survivors, and highlight them in the magazine. C.O.P.S. reached out to some of their top donors, a total of 15 companies, and Thin Blue Line USA was one of them.
All of us agreed that our partnership has turned into a friendship that we hope continues to grow to work together on future projects that are making a difference in the lives of survivors.
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