Note from LET Executive Director Kyle Reyes: Law Enforcement Today does not have a fiscal relationship with Fund the First (FTF) – but we are proud to endorse them and stand behind them as the ONLY crowdfunding website that we believe in.
They vet out fundraisers to ensure that the funds really go to first responders and their families, helping weed out the countless scams that are run on other crowdfunding platforms. They also don’t take a percentage of the funds raised, making them truly unique.
Bristol, CT: A tragic incident that left two Bristol, Connecticut police officers killed in the line of duty and a third officer seriously injured is still raising funds through Fund the First crowdfunding platform to help the families of the officers.
And it has raised nearly $800k.
The staggering amount that has been raised is symbolic of the incredible loss the Bristol Police Department, the community and the families are experiencing.
No amount of money is enough to replace the loss of those heroic officers. One thing that can be done is to at least ease the financial pain the families are expected to endure.
The Original Incident
Bristol police department received a 911 call over a domestic dispute between a pair of brothers in early October.
Sgt. Dustin Demonte, Officer Alex Hamzy and Officer Alec Lurato all responded to the call.
Domestic violence calls are often the most complicated and unpredictable calls for police. They are often driven by emotions- which sometimes lead to extreme responses.
As was the case with this tragedy.
As the officers approached the home, they were immediately met by a crazed man armed with a loaded rifle. The suspect was later identified as Nicholas Butcher, a local deviant.
It was later discovered that the 911 call was meant to lure police officers right into an ambush.
The armed suspect immediately fired upon the approaching officers, instantly killing Officer Hamza. Sgt Demonte was also shot and taken to a local hospital where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. Officer Lurato was also taken to the hospital to undergo emergency surgery and thankfully survived. He is still recovering from his injuries to this day.
The suspect was also killed in the gunfire. His brother, whose roll in the ambush is still unclear, survived but suffered severe injuries.
The Unwavering Public Support
Once the dust settled and the Bristol Police Department began their investigations into the incident, so did the funeral arrangements of the fallen officers.
Unprecedented support then started to pour in from all angles; the local community, countless police departments, and thousands of police-supporting Americans everywhere.
Conor Hogan, the Bristol PBA Vice President then started a fundraiser to help support the families of the fallen officers, Sgt. Demonte and Officer Hamza.
According to a statement provided by Hogan on the fundraising platform, Fund the First, he stated:
“This fundraiser will directly benefit Officer Hamzy and Sergeant DeMonte’s families. Thank you so much for your support.”
So far, the fundraising efforts have surpassed nearly $800,000 for the families. It’s a record-breaking fundraising amount from nearly 4,000 donors.
One of the donors came from Barstool Sports, a popular digital media company who created T-shirts to support the fallen officers. All the T-shirt proceeds went to the Fund the First fundraiser platform for the families.
Hogan took to the FTF platform and stated:
“We also want to thank Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports for having a t-shirt fundraiser where all proceeds will be given back to this campaign. Here is the link.”
Fund the First
A major part of the success of the fundraising campaign came from the platform itself- Fund the First.
FTF was created by an NYPD detective, Robert Garland, to provide campaigns and donors an alternative to GoFundMe- which is riddled in fees and scams.
One of the most critical, and impressive functions of the FTF system is that they vet every campaign to ensure fundraising integrity and beneficiary legitimacy. And unlike GoFundMe, they do not take any portion of donor contributions or add any fees aside from unavoidable credit card fees. They rely solely on the good nature of their donors by accepting donations- nothing else.
Another critical aspect, and perhaps the most important, is that FTF limit their campaigns to the law enforcement, military and first responder community. They have also recently expanded to include other important service industries- teachers and medical professionals.
Their commitment to these communities is a testament to the belief system that we must look out for one another.
In these troubling times of anti-police sentiment still floating in mainstream media, it’s nice to know organizations like FTF exist to support us and those like us.
They are one of the reasons the fundraising campaign for Sgt. Demonte and Ofc. Hamza raised nearly $800k. Their commitment to these noble professions is a much needed service.
And you can still support the families of Sgt. Demonte and Ofc. Hamza by visiting the FTF website to make your monetary contribution and help the families move on from this terrible tragedy.
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