Anti-Terrorist Training Plane Approved to Use Beamer Foundation Trademark
PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Todd M. Beamer Foundation and Heroic Choices recently granted permission to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, located in Tampa, Fla., use of the "Let's Roll" trademarked logo to name their new Boeing 727 anti-terrorist training aircraft.
The aircraft is a 30-year-old passenger plane used by law enforcement agencies to practice responding to hijacking incidents or other assaults aboard airplanes.
"After Sept. 11, 2001, we knew we needed ways to better prepare our local response team - our department, the Tampa Police Department and the local FBI - if anything were to happen at Tampa International Airport," said Major Richard Cipriano, commander of Human Resource Division for the Sheriff's Office. "Then in November 2002, we were offered a Boeing 727 airplane. We immediately said yes."
Without engines, the plane sits on 40 acres of land atop concrete pillars, paid for by the Sheriff's Office. On the inside, the plane looks like any other passenger plane, complete with rows of seats to simulate real-life situations.
At this time, the Sheriff's Office is unaware of any other plane in the United States used for civilian law enforcement training. And Major Cipriano invites agencies throughout the country, particularly those located in the southeast region, to use the facility.
After being featured on "America's Most Wanted," the Sheriff's Office received more than 10,000 suggestions from viewers who had been asked to submit names for the plane.
"'Let's Roll' came up a number of times," said Major Cipriano. "This thing has really come full circle when you think about the hijacked United Flight 93 and the other planes that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for Sept. 11."
The same can be said for Heroic Choices and The Todd M. Beamer Foundation, whose mission is to build resiliency in children affected by trauma - including many who lost a parent or family member on Sept. 11.
Approving use of the logo was an easy decision and one made with great honor, according to Founder Douglas A. MacMillan, whose best friend was Todd Beamer.
"The 'Let's Roll' trademark represents people coming together and acting in the interest of others," said MacMillan. "For the heroes on Flight 93, it was to save hundreds, if not thousands, of people on the ground. In Florida, it means taking extra measures to prepare law enforcement to handle assaults against airline passengers. And here in New Jersey, it is our own Heroic Choices staff giving traumatized children a reason to look forward to tomorrow. We are all working for the betterment of our neighbors and our nation."
Heroic Choices is a free program that teaches traumatized children how to overcome adversity and emerge stronger than before. The program includes a weekend retreat for children, parents or guardians and mentors, a year-long mentoring relationship, resiliency training, ongoing curriculum development and special events and programs. Heroic Choices also gives mentors and parents or guardians the tools they need to guide and support their children.
Editor's note: High resolution, publication-ready photo(s) supported by the following captions are available for free editorial use at: http://www.wirepix.com/newsphotos/USN
Digital photos also available at: http://www.beamerfoundation.org/news--02--04/lets--roll--plane.html
The program is underwritten and paid for by the Foundation and its many supporters.
About The Todd M. Beamer Foundation
The Todd M. Beamer Foundation (http://www.beamerfoundation.org) is a non-profit public charity located in Princeton, N.J., whose mission is to equip children experiencing family trauma to make heroic choices every day. Through Heroic Choices, children learn how to become everyday heroes - the kind of resilient children who overcome adversity, navigate life's obstacles and grow to become healthy, responsible, productive adults.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.