It’s been 15 days and already we’ve had seven members of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
The weight of that number is hard to swallow. In 2018, we lost nearly 150.
And if that’s not bad enough, their memorials are being tarnished by students who maintain that the Thin Blue Line flag is a symbol of racism. Miss that story? Read it here. America continues to find itself locked in a battle against law enforcement. And until we start sharing stories like these, it will only continue to get worse.
But amongst all the hate, there’s a glimmer of hope. And it comes in the form of a group made up of active and retired law enforcement officers and their supporters. Their mission? Let police families know they have a network of love and support.
When is enough enough? The targeting of our Nations Law Enforcement need to end. pic.twitter.com/ouYUwHfdLG
— BrothersBeforeOthers (@bboinc14) January 11, 2019
The crew at Brothers Before Others has a mission to make sure every blue family feels supported, especially during their time of loss.
That’s why they rolled out the Flower Fund.
When a Line of Duty Death (LODD) occurs, the BBO organization makes sure that an honorary flower arrangement is sent to the funeral.
— BrothersBeforeOthers (@bboinc14) January 14, 2019
The staff at Law Enforcement Today spoke with Michael J. Burke, a retired officer and President and Founder of Brothers Before Others. Burke began the organization after retiring from an on-duty injury.
“In 2014 I had an idea that every LODD should have a large floral arrangement representing family and brotherhood,” said Burke.
Burke mentioned that ensuring each funeral is attended to is no walk in the park.
“It is a daunting task gathering the information, finding the right florist locally and having them delivered to the funeral or viewing all in a matter of days,” he said. “Considering we lose one officer every 3 days on average, as soon as we are finishing up one arrangement, we start another.”
“That is a very sobering thought,” Burke stated.
But it can’t be done alone. Though each donation that comes into Brothers Before Others ensures a portion goes to the Flower Fund, the organization needs help.
“Brothers Before Others has not missed a LODD in the last four years at an expense of over $200,000,” Burke said.“We raise all these funds internally with our 4,500 members but desperately need some outside help in the form of a cooperation or angel donor.”
Interested in supporting the families of fallen officers in their time of greatest struggle? Visit https://www.brothersbeforeothers.org/flower-fund/ for more information or to make a donation.