National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington D.C.

Widow Sanchez pointing at husbands name on wall in DC

Mary Lou Sanchez points at slain husband’s name on National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial

“Dear Mr. Dent and Board Members:

When my husband was murdered, my son was seven and my daughter was nine. I yearned to take the children to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial and Concerns of Police Survivors grieving conference, hoping it would help all of us deal with David’s tragic murder. Thankfully, it was because of the generosity of the Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation, that we were all able to go.

On our way to Washington D.C., I didn’t know what to expect. What would we feel when we got there? Would this trip really help? Would we connect with the other surviving families? After arriving and meeting them, I realized they were grieving much like we were. It was like we were one big family going through this lonely journey together. It gave us strength and hope. The classes I attended helped me make and accept the decisions that needed to be made for the children and myself. We would have challenges and failures, but knew we would survive.

Attending the Candle Light Vigil at the “National Police Memorial Wall” was beautiful. We could hear bagpipers playing ‘Danny Boy’ after which readings of the deceased police officers’ names began. I will always remember when David’s name was called we felt proud; he had not been forgotten. There for a moment, it seemed like he came alive …one last time.

Seeing his name etched on the ‘Wall’ brought us comfort; we could finally let him go. What we experienced has made us stronger and will forever live in our hearts. God Bless the wonderful work of the Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation.”

Sincerely,
Mary Lou Sanchez
(Widow of murdered Deputy David Sanchez, Lake County, Oregon)

Note: Deputy Sanchez died after being shot 17 times, 10 in the back as he lay dying, by a man he arrested during a disturbance at a high school dance in Paisley, Oregon. After a plea-bargain deal, the suspect was convicted of first degree manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was paroled after serving less than 5 years.

“To the Board of the Foundation…No matter the distance from that sorrowful day, I remember your kindness and thoughtfulness always.  In our family’s darkest hours, you offered meal support and comfort, protection and financial assistance, prayers and love.

Thank you for being the good in the world.  Thank you for honoring John and his memory with all you have done.  The gestures, both great and small, have made this new life of ours a little easier to live.  Please know that we appreciate everything tremendously.

In loving memory of my husband, John, End of Watch: March 3, 2014.

Cathy Hobbs and children (Phoenix, Arizona)

Note:  Detective Hobbs and another Detective from the Felony Apprehension Team spotted a wanted fugitive in a vehicle and gave chase.  After a high speed pursuit the suspect crashed at a street intersection and exited his vehicle, fleeing on foot.  During the foot pursuit of the fugitive who was just released from prison, drew a gun and shot both detectives, critically injuring both.  Detective Hobbs was able to return gunfire fatally wounding the suspect…but died later at the hospital.  The other detective remained in critical condition.

Detective Hobbs was 43 years old and left a wife and 3 children behind.

To Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation Board;

“Thank you so much for your eloquent condolences, compassion and your generous gift to my family in honor of our beloved twin sister, Maria Mignano (Senior Trooper –Oregon State Police). The shock of Maria’s sudden and unexpected death has left us quite stunned, and even now overwhelmed. But the gracious support and sincere expressions of concern and sympathy, by people like you in the law enforcement community and among the general public, truly has helped to comfort us during these heartbreaking times.

How good it is of you to establish a fund to assist the bereaved families of fallen officers; and to expend your personal time and energy on their behalf. Several members of my family due intend on going to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Washington, D.C. Your gift will help us make the trip. May the good that you have done for others be returned to you many times over.”

God bless you,
Theresa Hejn
Salem, OR

Note: Trooper Maria Mignano and Officer Jason Hoerauf, of the Albany Police Department, were struck and killed by the driver of a vehicle while assisting the family of a disabled vehicle (another Oregon State Trooper was hospitalized in critical condition and later medically retired). Trooper Mignano is the first female trooper with her agency to be killed in the line of duty. The driver had a suspended driver’s license. The man pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide, and on a plea bargain, was sentenced to two days in jail and three years of probation. (Photo courtesy Theresa Hejn).

“Dear Mr. Dent and Foundation Members,

Thank you so much for the compassionate letter and financial assistance for the trip to Washington D.C. and the National Police Memorial. My girls and I, along with Chris’ parents and sister all plan on attending. Thank you for all you do for other families as well. The support from others is a huge factor in our healing.

In closing, we LOVE the Police Officers Bible. Thank you so very much.

God Bless!”

Kristie Kilcullen and family
Eugene, OR

Note: Police Officer Chris Kilcullen was shot and killed during a vehicle pursuit of a female suspect. Officer Kilcullen is survived by his wife and two children.

“Dear Mr. Dent and Board Members;

Thank you for your kind letter, Bible, and financial gift. We did go to Washington D.C. for National Law Enforcement Week. It was a myriad of emotions. But most of all we truly enjoyed being there. The COPS Foundation made it even more memorable by their support and events.

Thank once again.”

Terri Hakim and family
Keizer, OR

Note: Senior Trooper Bill Hakim, of the Oregon State Police and Captain Tom Tennant of the Woodburn P.D. were killed when a bomb detonated as they examined the device. Both suspects, a father and son team, were apprehended, convicted, and sentenced to death. They are appealing their conviction. Trooper Hakim is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

To Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation:

“Thank you for your organization’s generous gift to our family to help offset expenses to National Police Week in Washington D.C.

Tom truly loved his work in law enforcement and the honors that have, and will be, bestowed on him will be treasured forever by our family.

Thank you also for the wonderful poem – it is one that I have not seen before and have found the words to be very comforting.”

God Bless –

Mary Tennant and family
Woodburn, OR

Note: Captain Tom Tennant of the Woodburn P.D. and Senior Trooper Bill Hakim, of the Oregon State Police, were killed when a bomb detonated as they examined the device. Both suspects, a father and son team, were apprehended, convicted, and sentenced to death. They are appealing their conviction. Capt. Tennant is survived by his wife, two daughters, and son.

Constable Board;

“On behalf of my family, Allison, Nicholas and I want to thank you for your kind words, thoughts, and deeds. Your expressions of love and concern are greatly appreciated and have given us more comfort than you can know.

During this difficult time, we have learned how much our friends mean to us. Allison, Nicholas and I continue to be overwhelmed by the love and support from our friends, family, church, and community. We thank you all for everything. We will continue to trust in the Lord.”

Sincerely,

Kelley Chapin
Soddy Daisy, TN

Note: Sergeant Tim Chapin was shot in the head and killed after responding to a robbery at a pawn shop. He is survived by his wife and two children. The suspect was shot, convicted, and sentenced to life without parole, plus 25 years.

Members of the Constable Foundation;

Thank you so much for your generous contribution and gifts. My two girls so loved the poem that you sent.

Since the tragic events of May 8th, the police department here and the community have been there for us. They have taken care of us like family. It has helped so much with the grieving process.

Please know that we are all doing well both emotionally and spiritually. The girls have solace in knowing that their daddy died a hero and are SO proud of him. They have all good and positive memories of him and know that he is home with God at peace, and surrounded by his love.

Sincerely,

Sue, Katie, and Natalie Garbarino
Centreville, VA

Note: Officer Michael Garbarino was killed when a suspect opened fire on him with a rifle in the police parking lot. He was struck 5 times as he sat in his patrol car but lived long enough to radio and warn other officers not to exit rear of police department. A nearby female detective engaged the suspect and was also shot to death. Other responding officers shot and killed the 18 year old suspect. The officer is survived by his wife, two children.

To the Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation, Inc.:

I received the Police Officer’s Bible and check for Jeremy’s widow, Tina. I wanted to let Bob Dent know that I personally delivered it to her just a few moments ago. I cannot thank you enough for your generosity and compassion that you have expressed towards the Bitner family and my organization. Tina was very appreciative and also wanted to pass on her gratitude to you and your organization.

Best wishes,

John M. Collins, Chief of Police
Englewood Police Department
Englewood, Colorado

Note: Officer Jeremy Bitner, 39 was struck by a hit and run drunk driver as he was standing beside a vehicle during a traffic stop. The suspect was arrested 4 miles from the scene and charged with DWI, Fleeing the Scene of an Accident, and Vehicular Homicide. Officer Bitner, was a veteran Army Airborne Paratrooper and survived by his wife and two children, ages 7 and 9. The suspect was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Mr. Dent;

I received your mail and package for Ms. Libke. It was a very nice Bible, what a great thought. We gave it to Ms. Libke along with the letter and check. Thank you very much for reaching out, it was very thoughtful.

I passed the information along to our officers as well.

Thanks..

James Band
Chief of Police
Oregon City, OR

Note: Reserve Officer Robert Libke died from a gunshot wound to the head by a suicidal 88 year old man who had set his house on fire. The suspect committed suicide after killing the officer. The officer is survived by his pregnant wife.

To Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation:

“Thank you so much for your generous gifts to the Wounded Warriors Project. I cannot thank you enough for your support of the truly deserving thousands of men and women who have been wounded in our current military conflicts. Only with your continuous support are we able to reach thousands of wounded servicemen and women.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for your support.”

Sincerely,

Steve Nardizzi
Executive Director
Wounded Warrior Project
Jacksonville, FL

To the Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation Board:

“First of all, a tremendous thank you for the priceless gift of the DVD you have created documenting Dad’s WW II Marine experiences on Iwo Jima. Being a retired police officer and military veteran, I know he is very pleased the profits from its sale are being donated to help families of police officers killed in the line of duty and the Wounded Warriors Project.

Secondly, thank you and the Bend Oregon Band of Brothers for being such loyal and caring friends to my Dad. It gives me comfort knowing Dad has such wonderful friends surrounding him.”

Lorinette Garscia
(Daughter of Lorin Myring, 5th Marine Division)
Glendale, CA

Mr. Dent;

“I am glad to hear from you. Yes, I did attend Police Week in Washington D.C. I took my four year old daughter Madison and my parents with me. What a moving week it was. I met so many incredible people-most in my same situation. Once again, thank you for helping me on that journey.

Well, it has been twenty months since Jason’s death. We miss him every day. Our girls are growing like weeds! Madison will be 5 next week and the baby is 2. I’ve been picking up the pieces of my life…little by little it starts to come together. I took a “vacation” from the task force for a couple of months. I needed to re-focus and spend a little time just being a mom. I’ve developed a task force to address judicial injustice and public education about the justice system. The last two weeks I’ve been busy reviewing the info on Judges in our district.

I know we have never met but I am so proud of you. It makes me cry every time I read about what you and your foundation are doing to help others like me. I’m so proud because your drive and ambition is an honor to the spouses and children of law enforcement officers who have made the sacrifice…Thank you!

I am planning to attend DC again this year. I want to see the candlelight vigil, and maybe some familiar faces. If you have plans to go please let me know as I would love to shake your hand.”

Take Care,

Stacy Pratt
Omaha, NE

Note: Omaha Police Officer Sgt. Jason Tye Pratt, had responded as a back-up to a call where a suspect had fled on foot. The suspect fleeing was Albert Rucker. Officer Pratt was securing an area where the suspect was believed to be, when suddenly the hidden suspect shot the Officer in the head with a 45 caliber gun at close range. Upon hearing the shot, several officers arrived on the scene where a gun battle ensued. The suspect was shot several times and critically wounded. He died the next day.

Officerr Jason Tye Pratt clung to life for eight days before he succumbed to his injury. He is survived by his young wife Stacy and two beautiful girls aged, 3 1/2 and 9 months old at the time of the shooting. With such a promising future, Stacy began to question why and how a crime like this could take place.

During the eight days she kept vigil at the hospital awaiting news of her husband, information and stories began to trickle in regarding the man who shot her husband. Albert Rucker had 41 prior arrests in his record at the time he shot Jason Pratt. He was a known felon and a dangerous gang member. According to court documents, Rucker had three outstanding warrants for his arrest for failing to comply with court orders. He was found guilty and sentenced in 2000 for second-degree assault. A judge ordered him to serve jail time and to be placed on probation for three years, and he was awaiting a court hearing for violating his probation. He also was awaiting trial for being a felon in possession of a weapon in 2002. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest in that case as well because he failed to appear in court.

In the weeks and months following Jason’s death, Stacy became determined to answer questions about Rucker and the judicial system that failed her. How could someone so dangerous be on the streets? Why wasn’t Rucker in jail? He had been arrested in 1999 for shooting someone and has apprehended wearing a bullet proof vest. His sentence, however, was three years probation. Rucker has appeared in front of the same district court judge since 1999. In every case the judge lowered his bond. He violated his bond more than once without recourse. As this information became clear to the Omaha community and the nation, more outrage about the event ensued.

Stacy’s new life and commitment to change the judicial system was her cause.. With the support of Nebraska Governor, Mike Johanns, the Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, and an army of police, citizens, and supporters, Stacy Pratt found the courage to form the JASON Task Force, a 501c3 organization dedicated to resolving some of the deep seated problems inherent within the judicial system. With her team of advisors, dedicated board members and volunteers, Pratt aims to educate the public on the role they can play do that unwarranted crimes such as her husband’s do not happen again.

“Thank you and the others on the Board on behalf of Luis’ wife & two children for doing this for one of “ours” on the Border Patrol. As you know, it seems Border Patrol Agents are falling more often now than in my day. Another died on duty just within the past couple of days, leaving a wife & child. This is undoubtedly due to the increased risk from the drug cartels, which a news piece yesterday proclaimed “are using tactics of terrorists” against law enforcement & military.

Please share my gratitude with the other Board members.”

Al Ferguson
US Border Patrol {Ret}
“America’s First Line of Homeland Defense”

Note: Luis Aguilar, 32, had been a Border Patrol agent for six years. He was assigned to the Yuma Sector and lived in the city of Yuma with his wife and young son and daughter. He was killed Saturday when he was hit by a Hummer in the Imperial Sand Dunes near the California-Mexico border about 20 miles west of Yuma. The Hummer is believed to have been a smuggling vehicle. Mexican authorities have arrested one man, Jesus Navarro Montes, in connection with Aguilar’s death.

Four California Police Officers Killed by Wanted Parolee

In 2009, a 26 year old parolee wanted for assault was stopped for a traffic violation by two Oakland City Police Officers and were shot in the head and left lying in the street. The suspect fled the scene and went to his sister’s apartment complex. While attempting to arrest the suspect he shot and killed two more officers before being shot dead by a SWAT officer.

Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, who was killed during the traffic stop; and Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley, both killed at the apartment where the gunman was holed up. Dunakin was with the department since 1991, Romans since 1996 and Sakai since 2000.

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Mr. Dent and Board of the Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation:

“On behalf of the Oakland Police Officers Association, Oakland Police Department and the families of the four slain officers, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the very generous donation in memory of the families of Sgt. Mark Dunakin (survived by his wife and three children), Sgt. Ervin Romans (survived by his wife, three children, and two stepchildren), Sgt. Daniel Sakai and Officer John Hege. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated by our organizations and the families as well.

This tragedy is still unbelievable to us, but with people like you and your kindness, we were able to work our way through the services and we are now trying to move forward..

Again, please accept our gratitude.”

Sincerely,

Dominique Aroztarena
President
Oakland Police Officers Association
Oakland, California

“We would like to personally thank you for your generous donation to the families of our fallen Tampa Police officers. One hundred per cent of your donation was delivered to the families of Officers David Curtis and Jeffery Kocab whom you specified. As everything has unfolded through the recent tragedies that have befallen the Tampa Police, we are constantly reminded of the generosity and goodness of people, not only locally, but across this great nation that support the families of our slain officers. Your donation is something we will never forget.

Again, thank you so very much for your contribution.”

Respectfully,

Greg Stout
President
Tampa Police Benevolent Association

Note: Officer David Curtis and Officer Jeffrey Kocab were shot and killed while attempting to make an arrest at a traffic stop. The suspect later surrendered and arrested for murdering both officers. While in jail it was learned the suspect was responsible for three other previous murders. He was convicted and sentenced to death. (Officer Curtis left a wife and four sons. Officer Kocab was survived by his expectant wife).

“On behalf of the family of Officer Henry “Hank” Nava, the Fort Worth Police Department extends our deepest appreciation to your organization’s recent support. In difficult times such as these, people rise to the occasion and you folks have demonstrated those exemplary qualities through unselfishness in donating an airline ticket for Teresa Nava to go to the National Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Officer Nava was a special person and we will mourn his loss forever. The generosity of those willing to step forward and help will also be remembered for years to come.

Again, thank you for your support and please do not hesitate to call upon the Fort Worth Police Department should you have a need.”

Very truly yours,

Ralph Mendoza – Chief of Police
Fort Worth Police Department
Fort Worth, Texas

Note: Officer Henry Nava died of a gunshot wound he received two days earlier when he attempted to arrest a man in a house on a warrant. When the officer opened a closet door the suspect shot the officer in the face. He is survived by a wife, and a young son and daughter.

“I want to thank you so much for sponsoring my trip to National Police Week in Washington D.C. I truly could not have made the trip without your assistance. I will be speaking to young kids about my experience in being a law enforcement survivor. My father was Special Agent Douglas Kocina. He worked for Naval Investigative Service when he was killed in Subic Bay, Philippines where my family was stationed at the time.

Again, I genuinely appreciate your assistance for my trip. I am hoping to help others who are in my position as a law enforcement survivor.”

Sincerely,

Heather Kocina
St. Petersburg, FL

“I would like to express our sincere sympathy for the cause of families of slain officers. As the saying goes, all give some but some give all. This is a reality here in Kentucky, as well as in Oregon, and elsewhere. I believe our duty is, among other things, to do everything we can to prevent those tragedies from happening again, and at the same time to offer comfort and help to the their victims. Please be assured of our support and our prayers. You are definitely not alone in this fight. Your efforts are unique and very much appreciated.”

Sorin Farc
Kentucky Baptist Convention

To Constable Foundation;

“Thank you for your kind expression of sympathy, generosity, and thoughtfulness. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers.”

Alena Moreno and Family
San Antonio, TX

Note: Detective Mario Moreno was shot and killed while attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a suspect who had shot his girlfriend the previous day. The parolee shot the detective in the face with a .12 gauge shotgun. The suspect was shot and killed by backup officers. Detective Moreno was survived by his wife and two young children.

“On behalf of the San Diego Police Officers Association I would like to thank you for your generous gift of the family of Officer Christopher Wilson. Though no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one, the money will aid the children in reaching their full potential, which is what Chris would have wanted.

Thank you again for your generous donation.”

Brian Marel – President
San Diego Police Officers Association

Note: A man and woman barricaded inside a back bedroom shot Wilson in the head after Wilson and three other officers searched for the fugitive. Both suspects committed suicide before being taken into custody. Officer Wilson is survived by a young son and daughter.

“Thank you for your dedicated service. Your organization has certainly made a difference and should be commended for your determination and high level of civic responsibility. We are committed to worthwhile projects and therefore are remitting an appropriate contribution.”

Sincerely,

Dr. R. B. Pamplin, JR
Portland, OR

Awards Received

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