In Memory of Those Who Have Died In The Line of Duty
Line of Duty Death – What to Do?
Many agencies are not prepared for the tragedy of suffering a line of duty death. All agencies, regardless of size, are encouraged to have a policy concerning the appropriate actions to be taken should a member of their agency be killed in the line of duty. Should your agency not currently have a policy regarding a line of duty death, the following guidelines should be followed as one is developed:
1. Contact Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS)
First and foremost, the family of the fallen officer(s) must receive care and counseling immediately. COPS is the nationally recognized support group dedicated to supporting the familes of fallen officers in their time of need. COPS has chapters and representitives in almost every state who are available to assist the families following a line of duty death.
In the Western United States, you can contact the local C.O.P.S. representative by contacting COPS.
2. Contact State and Federal Benefits Programs
The widow/widower and children of officers whose deaths meet state and federal eligibility criteria are eligible to receive state and federal benefits. Applications for these benefits should be submitted as early as possible so the family can receive the benefits as soon as possible. Additional information can by found in-state and additional instructions are available at the following websites:
3. Federal Resources
- US Department of Justice – Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program (PSOB)
- Download the PSOB Fact Sheet
4. Nominate the Fallen Officer to State and National Memorials
Once the funeral is over and the family is provided with the necessary assistance, the department should officially nominate the officer to be honored by the Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc., the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Inc., and the state memorial in the state in which the officer was killed (not all states have state-level memorials).
Use the links below for information and instructions on how to nominate the officer to the necessary memorials: