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The Behind the Badge Foundation was founded with the mission of providing support and assistance to law enforcement officers and their families during a critical time of need. Their main focus is to serve the survivors of those who have passed in a line of duty death, and to support law enforcement officers who continue to serve and protect their communities.
The idea of the foundation began in 1995 when Sgt. Frank Kampsen, of the Seattle Police Department, a group of law enforcement officers, and law enforcement surviving family members traveled to Washington DC to pay their respects to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Once they arrived, they discovered that Washington State had not yet created a statewide law enforcement memorial for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while in the line of duty, unlike many states in the country had already done. This was a problem they were ready and willing to tackle. The Foundation was originally incorporated in 1997 as The Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, and after a ten year effort of fundraising, planning, coordinating, and so much more- the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial was finally completed in 2006. To this day, Behind the Badge maintains this incredible memorial so they can celebrate and remember those who lost their lives serving Washington State.
Since then, Behind the Badge has centered its mission around providing assistance and support to those suffering the loss of a loved one or co-worker who died in the line of duty. This is done through multiple programs they have created to ensure every base is covered. When the unthinkable happens, Behind the Badge quickly gets involved with supporting both the families and agencies affected by the tragedy through their Line of Duty Death Response Team, which is sanctioned by Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC.) This group of individuals reports to the affected agencies and assists in bringing the affected agency information on: • Ceremonial honors due • Family support • Benefit coordination for the family • Behind the Badge Foundation financial resources to defray the cost of the memorial ceremony This response team does not charge for its services, and their only agenda is to help at the discretion of the agency.
In addition to their speedy and supportive involvement during emergency situations, Behind the Badge also has created the Law Enforcement Family Network Conference. This event is an opportunity to provide education and support for current law enforcement officers and their families while building relationships with other families in law enforcement as well.
This Foundation serves as a vital source of assistance to law enforcement officers and their families when they are in need, and acts quickly to support with compassion and understanding. From financial assistance to emotional support, Behind the Badge services are invaluable to the law enforcement community.
Throughout the year, Behind the Badge hosts a variety of events to help raise awareness and funds to continue on with doing their gracious work. March 4th, they will be hosting the 25th Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction in Seattle. If you are interested in attending, tickets are on sale now! Click HERE to get more details.
Make sure to check them out on Facebook as well to stay up to date on all the great work they do. Follow them HERE