Pittsburgh SWAT uses Challenge Coins to help families of fallen heroes

Since April 4, 2009, when an ambush incident in the Stanton Heights section of Pittsburgh took the lives of officers Eric Kelly, Paul J. Sciullo II, and Stephen J. Mayhle, their police family has been not only mourning their loss, but working to help the families of these fallen heroes.

In particular, the Pittsburgh PD SWAT team has put together a campaign to raise money for the families through the sale of Pittsburgh Memorial Challenge Coins.

“We wanted to do more than just donate money,” said Detective Chris Marks, who has been in contact with PoliceOne in recent days regarding the fundraising effort. “We wanted something that would memorialize the Officers... and also something for people to have to remember that they too helped out. Rather than our SWAT team simply donating money to the fund, we came up with the idea of selling these coins instead. We all donated an amount and had these minted. We can then sell them as many times over to continue to contribute, rather than a one time deal,” Marks told PoliceOne.

Already the sale of these coins has been successful – Marks tells PoliceOne that he received a couple dozen e-mails after Assistant Chief Mike Williams included an announcement in his news headlines earlier this week – and as officers and citizens across the country learn about the effort, many more are certain to show thier support.   

“The out pouring of support for our Officers and their families has been a miracle,” said Marks. “It actually made me rethink the popular Police opinion that we are in an ‘us versus them’ battle. Every segment of our area – neighborhoods, the City, the surrounding communities, etc. – has stepped up to offer anything they can to help heal the wounds and aid and assist in driving on. In addition, hundreds of businesses have had Police Officer Appreciation nights in many ways. One place even had a ‘hey we can't offer much – but how about a free haircut?’ deal. The public support has changed my opinion of society. It’s just a shame it took a tragedy to bring everyone together.”

You can click here to print a PDF order form, which can be mailed to:

P.O. Box 99482
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Make checks payable to: Pittsburgh Memorial Coin Fund.  All of the proceeds will be donated to the Fallen Officers Memorial Fund.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Contact Doug Wyllie

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