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Home  >  Topics  >  Police Heroes

April 25, 2012
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Barbara A. Schwartz Living with the Sacrifice
with Barbara A. Schwartz

LWTS honorable mentions: Chicago Police Memorial Foundation

 

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has earned an honorable mention for their support of injured officers and the surviving families of fallen officers.

In addition to the statue that the foundation designed and constructed to honor injured officers, the foundation created a “Gold Star Families Memorial Park” dedicated to honoring injured and fallen officers. The park includes the statue, a Living Sacrifice wall, and the memorial wall inscribed with the names of fallen Chicago police officers.

A pictorial tour of the park can be taken here.

The foundation has raised more than one million dollars to support and assist families of fallen officers and officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

Support includes tuition for private elementary and secondary schools and scholarships for college tuition. The foundation pays insurance premiums for officers who are terminally ill.

Before the line of duty traffic accident that left Cedric Brumley confined to a wheelchair, he worked two extra jobs for the funds to send his two kids to private school. Without the foundation, Cedric says that he’d be up a creek trying to provide for his kids.

Cedric was the first “After the Memorial” award recipient. The foundation helped pay for his wheelchair accessible van when other funding sources turned Cedric down. Cedric, who has custody of his two children, didn’t want his kids to miss out because of his lack of mobility. 

“It was a blessed day when the foundation came into our lives.” Denise Domagala calls the foundation “amazing.”

Denise knows. She has lived the sacrifice since 1988 when her husband, Bernie, was shot in the forehead. The injury left her to raise the couple’s three boys on her own. For many years, before the foundation was created, Denise felt alone and forgotten. The foundation gives her a support system and an extended family.

The foundation gives officers and their families a caring, understanding place to turn to in their darkest hour.

Both Cedric and Denise cite the foundation’s Operation Santa program as monumental in keeping injured officers and fallen officers families feeling like part of the police family.

Denise can’t describe how the kids feel when a parade of patrol cars, with light bars glowing, drive down the street and stop at the officer’s home bearing holiday gifts.

Since its inception in 2004, the foundation has made great strides in making sure injured officers, their families, and the families of fallen officers are not forgotten.

The success of the foundation lies in its people whose hearts and lives are dedicated to Chicago police officers and their families.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent, Phil Cline, serves as Executive Director. Project Manager John Gordon’s brother gave his life in the line of duty as a Chicago officer, another brother is also an officer, and Gordon’s father retired from law enforcement.

The foundation is funded through donations. Chicago police officers support the foundation through automatic payroll deductions.

Chicago Memorial Foundation’s mission and living sacrifice statue exemplifies what can be done to support and honor injured officers and their families.

Check out their website and donate at: www.cpdmemorial.org.


About the author

Barbara A. Schwartz retired after 30 years with NASA in Houston where she worked in Mission Control and Astronaut Training. She is a former reserve officer serving in patrol and investigations. She has been writing about law enforcement officers since 1972 and has been a contributing feature writer for American Police Beat for the past 10 years. Her articles and book reviews have also appeared in Command, The Tactical Edge, Crisis Negotiator Journal, The Badge & Gun, The Harris County Star, The Blues, and The Police News.

Schwartz earned a degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University with electives in Criminal Justice and Criminology. She helped fund her education by working for the campus police department.

Contact Barbara A. Schwartz





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