May, the law enforcement community will gather in Washington, D.C. to celebrate
National Police Week (NPW). It is here that thousands of officers and their
families will join the survivors of law enforcement officers who have died in
the line of duty to honor and pay tribute for the supreme sacrifices these
officers made in 2013.
which is May 11-17, is an emotional week for survivors. However, in addition to
the emotional Candlelight Vigil and National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service,
survivors attend the National Police Survivors’ Conference hosted by Concerns
of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.). There
truly is no other organization that can do what C.O.P.S. does for the law
enforcement community. We have been helping survivors rebuild their shattered
lives for 30 years.
this conference they will have the opportunity to attend many sessions dealing
with all aspects of traumatic grief. With 1,800 survivors expected to register
for NPW, they will make connections and bonds with other survivors who will understand
their grief and loss. These friendships will last a lifetime.
May 14, C.O.P.S. will be observing this hallmark anniversary during a
celebratory dinner at the Hilton Alexandria at Mark Center.
For the past 30 years, C.O.P.S. has provided survivors and agencies the
resources to deal with the traumatic aftermath from an officer’s line-of-duty
death. From counseling and peer support
to education, C.O.P.S. has been in the forefront leading the way to ensure our
survivors have what they need to heal and that agencies have what they need to
address all of the traumas of law enforcement within their agency.
1991, C.O.P.S. has trained about 20,000 officers at its three-day “Traumas of
Law Enforcement” training. At this training, agencies learn the importance of
proper death notification, funeral protocol, benefits, critical incident stress
management, suicide awareness, and so much more.
1984 we have counseled thousands of survivors through our programs during the
National Police Survivors’ Conference, as well as our Hands-On Programs
throughout the year. C.O.P.S. is proud of our history and honored to continue
to take care of law enforcement for the next 30 years.
Madeline Neumann is the National
President of Concerns Of Police Survivors, Inc. and may be reached at
C.O.P.S. Welcomes New Executive Director
its 30th anniversary of service to the surviving families of America’s fallen law enforcement officers,
Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) has welcomed a new Executive Director.
She has taken the reins to lead the organization that represents more than
32,000 survivors of officers who have died in the line of duty.
Chief Dianne Bernhard of the Columbia, MO,
Police Department retired after 21 years of service and became the new
Executive Director of C.O.P.S. in March 2014.
Deputy Chief Bernhard is most proud of her work as a patrol officer,
creating a camp for kids, a Crisis Intervention Team, a leadership academy, and
restructuring and managing a $19 million budget.
was also a member of the Columbia Police Mounted Team and came to know C.O.P.S.
through the line-of-duty death of a co-worker, Officer Molly Bowden, in
2005. She has been aware of the great
care that C.O.P.S. gave to the officer’s family ever since Bowden’s death.
said, “The relationships I have built with officers from around the country and
citizens of my community are important to me and I look forward to creating new
relationships through the C.O.P.S. organization. I am honored to be part of this exceptional
organization that has rebuilt the shattered lives of so many law enforcement
survivors all across the country.”
the February 2014 National C.O.P.S. Board Meeting, C.O.P.S. National President
Madeline Neumann said, “She is a proven leader with exceptional skills and a
true understanding of law enforcement and law enforcement survivors. The Board is looking forward to working with
her as she continues to move the C.O.P.S. mission into the future.”
C.O.P.S. organization is headquartered in Camdenton, MO. Suzie Sawyer, a 20-year Camdenton resident,
founded C.O.P.S. in 1984 in the basement of her home in Maryland.
C.O.P.S. moved to Camdenton in 1993 after her husband retired from the Prince George’s County, MD, Police Department. Sawyer, who retired from C.O.P.S. in 2011,
returned last May to serve as Acting Executive Director for one year until a
national search could be conducted for a new lead employee for the
said, “In reality, I am turning over my life’s work, C.O.P.S., over to Dianne
Bernhard. I am confident Dianne will
take C.O.P.S. to a new level, building on a strong foundation that came from
years of input from many who have experienced the worst tragedy within law
enforcement…the surviving families. I
will do whatever I can to ensure that C.O.P.S., under Dianne Bernhard’s strong
leadership, will continue to bring healing, love and life renewed to America’s law enforcement survivors.”