Whenever possible I make it a point to represent the profession of Law Enforcement at the funerals for officers who have died in the line of duty. It shows a level of respect and appreciation for service of individuals that goes beyond the local force and community. A year or so ago, I attended a funeral and learned about the Brotherhood for the Fallen.
Recognizing Fellow Officers
Brotherhood for the Fallen is an association of cops who have banded to gather to recognize the sacrifice of fellow officers. It provides support, both spiritual and financial, to the families of the fallen. Whether dressed in my uniform or wearing identification that shows I’m a retired New York Police Department officer, I find a sincere appreciation from the family and colleagues of the fallen hero. They realize that the loss of one is felt by many, more than just the local force or community, but the larger community of Law Enforcement.
I know many of my colleagues, retired and active duty, attend funerals of fallen officers. Many more would like to but cannot due to distance, time restrictions and job responsibilities. I’m fortunate to have the resources and time flexibility to attend these ceremonies. It’s not about people knowing who I am, it’s knowing that another representative of Law Enforcement is in attendance. Once at a double funeral in Kansas, someone came up to me said, “I heard NYPD was here.”
I have seen what the “Brotherhood for the Fallen” has done for families of those fallen officers and that’s why I decided to join the organization.
To Learn More
I’ve attached a link to an excellent New York Times article about the Brotherhood for the Fallen. I was privileged to spend time with fellow cops at the funeral of Officer Gary Michael who was shot on duty in Clinton, Missouri. You see me fourth from the right in a photo that accompanies the article.