A charitable organization called The BackStoppers provides financial assistance and support to family members of public safety personnel who have been killed, or suffered catastrophic injury in the line of duty.
Originated in 1959, The BackStoppers continue to support the surviving spouse unless or until he or she remarries, and supports the surviving children until they reach age 21 or complete their post-secondary education. Deaths from natural causes, illnesses, or injuries are outside the organization’s scope.
According to their website, they currently assist 81 families with 66 dependent children. Their assistance is immediate and ongoing. Within hours of the death of a first responder, his or her family receives a check for $5,000 to be used in whatever way they need.
On October 27, 2015, a suspect fleeing the scene of a traffic stop struck Deputy Sheriff Paul Clark of the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department. He suffered a broken back that resulted in several surgical procedures.
Deputy Clark passed away July 4, 2016 as a result of the injuries. BackStoppers is now assisting his family.
Deputy Clark, who was 55-years old, was an 18-year veteran of law enforcement. He served with the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department for 13 years and had previously served with the Park Hills Police Department for five years. He left behind his wife and two adult children and grandchildren.
St. Louis County Officer Blake Snyder, 33, was shot and killed last month while responding to a disturbance call. He left behind a wife and young child.
BackStoppers hosted a fundraiser for Snyder’s family shortly after he was murdered.
BackStoppers website says, “Within a few weeks, our representatives meet with the surviving spouse to identify the family’s other financial obligations, eliminate the family’s debt, and provide ongoing support for education and other extraordinary expenses.”
From those serving in public safety, we offer gratitude to this exemplary organization.