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With "COPS," Tennessee officer's
widow is not alone
[Memphis, TN]

December 14, 2000
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With "COPS," Tennessee officer's
widow is not alone
[Memphis, TN]

Yolanda Jones The Commercial Appeal
December 11, 2000, MONDAY, FINAL EDITION
Copyright 2000 The Commercial Appeal
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
December 11, 2000, MONDAY, FINAL EDITION

(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- Karyn Overton, 27, has found kindred spirits. ''I felt I was the only one out there whose husband was killed in the line of duty when his wife was pregnant,'' Overton said.

But through Concerns of Police Survivors or COPS, she knows she's not alone.

Overton, whose husband, Memphis police officer Don Overton, 35, was killed in the line of duty last October, is secretary- treasurer of the group that helps the families of slain officers cope.

The West Tennessee chapter started in October and is growing every day, she said.

In December, the group is asking residents to put blue lights in their windows in support of police, especially those killed in the line of duty.

Project Blue Light began in 1988 when Dolly Craig of Philadelphia told COPS in a letter that she was putting a blue light in her window to honor her son-in-law, a slain police officer.

Her act became a tradition, and Overton is asking the Mid-South to take part this Christmas.

''COPS is the neatest organization to help victims become survivors,'' she said. ''When my husband was killed, I thought no one in the world knows what I am going through.''

But in May, when she went to Washington to the national memorial for slain officers, she met women like her.

''I met three women who were pregnant at the time their husbands were killed. I finally had others who knew exactly how I felt, and it feels wonderful having someone to talk to.''

Overton delivered the couple's baby on Nov. 22, 1999, just over a month after her husband's death.

For more information about COPS, send E-mail to: Cop803 @aol.com

To reach reporter Yolanda Jones, call 529-2380 or E-mail yjones@gomemphis. com


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