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Frank Cappo of 5.11 Tactical Joins Spirit of Blue Board

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – September 26, 2017 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation is excited to announce that Frank Cappo, Vice President of Law Enforcement Sales at 5.11 Tactical, has joined the Spirit of Blue Board of Directors.  5.11 Tactical is a leading manufacturer of purpose-built apparel and gear designed specifically to enhance the safety, accuracy, speed, and performance of tactical professionals and enthusiasts worldwide and is based out of Irvine, CA.  Frank previously served as a police officer with the Overland Park (KS) Police Department for 12 years with assignments as both a patrol and SWAT officer, a police academy instructor, department quartermaster and director of training.  In his volunteer role with Spirit of Blue, Frank will be focused on new sponsor acquisition and advising on the administration of the Foundation’s Safety Grant Program.

“I’m very excited to join the board of the Spirit of Blue Foundation,” said Frank Cappo, newly appointed Spirit of Blue Board Member.  “After leaving a career in Law Enforcement I always felt there was something missing for me personally.  And I wanted to find a way to continue to give back.  With my association with the Spirit of Blue I now have a way to help agencies and communities around the country who cannot afford quality, life-saving equipment.”

Spirit of Blue’s Board of Directors is comprised of business professionals who each have either previously served in law enforcement or have a special connection to that community and the cause of Officer Safety.  The Board is relied upon heavily for governance, regulating financial affairs and fundraising to support the day-to-day operations managed by the Executive Director.  Additionally, each Board Member helps in presenting grant awards around the country and advocates for Officer Safety where they live and work.

“Frank became a fast friend of the Foundation after a chance encounter and conversation passing through an airport,” commented Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue.  “That conversation led to others and it was apparent that Frank connected with our mission of protecting police officers.  And, he knows the job inside and out, along with the risks and the needs.  When we asked him to sit on the Board he responded quickly and enthusiastically and his contribution has already been significant.”

Since 2011, the Spirit of Blue Foundation has awarded 47 grants in 24 states valued at over $200,000.  The grants have varied from patrol rifles, body armor, riot control gear, AED’s, K9’s, forensic software, flashlights, Police/Youth Dialogue training, night vision optics, LED flares, ballistic helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus.  The Foundation is supported on an ongoing basis by Law Enforcement United, Sportsmen Organized for Law Enforcement and LMT Defense, along with a number of other premiere brands who manufacture safety equipment across a broad range of categories.  For more information or to learn how to support Spirit of Blue please go to:  www.spiritofblue.org

About The Spirit of Blue Foundation

The Spirit of Blue Foundation, based in Rochester, NY, is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs.  The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and safety equipment manufacturers.  Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Equipment and Training Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country at local, county and state levels.  Since 2011 the Foundation has awarded 47 grants in 24 states valued at over $200,000.

Craig Morgan, Spirit of Blue Foundation Present Safety Equipment Grant to Dickson County Sheriff’s Office

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – August 10, 2017 – Yesterday, the Spirit of Blue Foundation partnered with country music star Craig Morgan to present a safety equipment grant to the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office.  The grant includes 70 tourniquets along with tactical belt holders that will be issued to all patrol division and reserve deputies that serve the county.  Craig formerly served as a Deputy with the Sheriff’s Office in Dickson County before embarking on his country music career and was on hand to present this grant to the Sheriff’s office in his hometown.  The grant, with a combined value of $4,238, is the first of Spirit of Blue’s 2017 Tourniquet Project campaign and was funded by a generous donation from Law Enforcement United (LEU).  LEU is an organization of over 1,000 active and retired police officers who honor fallen officers and raise funds to assist charitable organizations that serve the law enforcement community.

“Having served as a Deputy with the Sheriff’s Office, I know firsthand how critical it is to have this kind of lifesaving equipment available for all of our men and women on the force,” said Craig Morgan, following the event. “I’m glad for the opportunity to take part in this donation to Dickson County and proud to help kick off Spirit of Blue’s Tourniquet Project Campaign.”

Tourniquets are vital pieces of medical equipment that officers and deputies require on the road in the event of a traumatic injury to an extremity. When only precious minutes exist to treat such an injury, tourniquets are able to be applied individually or on a co-worker to prevent excessive blood loss until that individual can be placed into medical care.  As a secondary benefit, officers and deputies who carry a tourniquet are also able to use them to rescue a member of the community who may have experienced a similar type injury as happened with the Monroe County (NY) Sheriff’s Office in July of this year with tourniquets that Spirit of Blue granted to them in October of 2015.

“Being the recipients of this grant from Spirit of Blue means a tremendous amount to a sheriff’s office of our size. We operate on a limited budget and being able to supply all of our deputies with a new piece of equipment isn’t always feasible,” commented Sheriff Jeffrey Bledsoe of the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office. “The tourniquets and duty belt holders we are receiving will be an asset to each of our deputies.  Dickson County has a lot of areas that are rural and remote. These tourniquets could mean the difference between life and death for any one of our deputies who are out there putting their service to Dickson County ahead of themselves on a daily basis.  We are very appreciative of what Craig Morgan and the Spirit of Blue are doing for us here.”

The C-A-T Tourniquet, manufactured by North American Rescue, has proven to be 100% effective in occluding blood flow in both upper & lower extremities by the U.S. Army’s Institute of Surgical Research and has been the official tourniquet of the U.S. Army since 2005.  The duty belt holder, manufactured by Blue Force Gear, is constructed with their proprietary, lightweight ULTRAcomp material and was specially designed for Spirit of Blue’s Tourniquet Project Campaign to hold the C-A-T Tourniquet.  Spirit of Blue has granted 463 C-A-T Tourniquets since its first tourniquet grant in 2014.  In 2017, Spirit of Blue has a goal of granting another 1,000 tourniquets to officers who need them across the country.  To learn more, or participate in the campaign, visit:  www.spiritfofblue.org/TQ

Since 2011, the Spirit of Blue Foundation has awarded 47 grants in 23 states valued at nearly $200,000.  The grants have varied from patrol rifles, body armor, riot control gear, AED’s, K9’s, forensic software, flashlights, Police/Youth Dialogue training, night vision optics, LED flares, ballistic helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus.  The Spirit of Blue Foundation deeply appreciates the generosity and support of its sponsors in being able to continue its work of protecting our nation’s law enforcement officers.

Image Caption – The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office received a grant for 70 tourniquets and duty belt holders from Spirit of Blue.  Receiving the grant (left to right) were Chief Deputy Jerone Holt and Sheriff Jeffrey Bledsoe.  Presenting the grant (center) was country music star Craig Morgan and Spirit of Blue Executive Director Ryan T. Smith.  Representing the grant sponsor, Law Enforcement United, (right to left) were Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Officer Joshua Black and Sergeant Anthony Brooks.

About The Spirit of Blue Foundation

The Spirit of Blue Foundation, based in Rochester, NY, is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs.  The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and safety equipment manufacturers.  Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Equipment and Training Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country from local to federal levels.  Since 2011 the Foundation has awarded 45 grants in 23 states valued at nearly $200,000.

Spirit of Blue Foundation Receives $50,000 Gift From Law Enforcement United

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – June 20, 2017 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation is excited to report that it has received a $50,000 cash donation from the National Board of Law Enforcement United (LEU).  The gift was presented to the Spirit of Blue at LEU’s 8th Annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride arrival ceremony held this year at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC on May 12, 2017.  Nearly 1,000 active duty and retired law enforcement officers, along with a number of surviving family members of officers who were lost in the line of duty, rode over 250 miles to honor the sacrifices that fallen officers have made in service to their communities and the families they leave behind.

“Law Enforcement United Is proud to support the Spirit of Blue for a second year in a row.  We are pleased with the efforts they are making in supporting the grants for equipment and training to departments that would otherwise not receive such funds,” commented Wallace “Chad” Chadwick, Executive Director of Law Enforcement United, who also serves as a Sergeant with the Chesapeake (VA) Police Department.  “The efforts that our combined charities are making in the law enforcement community are potentially saving lives with this invaluable equipment.  Law Enforcement United will continue to support Spirit of Blue and its programs as we truly believe in this cause as it is in line with our shared interest.”

Law Enforcement United consists of chapters in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey along with riders who join from a host of other states across the country.  Each rider raises $1,250 on their own to participate in the annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride, which covers the cost of their participation and generates the funds donated to select law enforcement causes.  A subset of riders also participate in Project Active Armor, where riders wear ballistic vests along the entire route of the ride to demonstrate that with today’s body armor it is not only possible to bike 250 miles in their vests, but that there shouldn’t be any reason law enforcement officers can’t wear their armor while on duty.   In addition to the gift made to Spirit of Blue, LEU also presented $100,000 to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) and $450,000 to the Concerns For Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) national organization.  In total, LEU has raised over $5,000,000 since it was founded in 2009.

“We are still early in our relationship with LEU, but already they have exceeded our expectations,” commented Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue.  “We will be able to do a lot with these funds through our Safety Grant Program, and each one of these dollars will be put to work protecting law enforcement officers across this country.  We have already earmarked $15,000 of this gift toward our annual Tourniquet Project, which will grant 500 tourniquets to law enforcement officers across the country.  That is something that we can all be proud of together.”

Since 2011, the Spirit of Blue Foundation has awarded 45 grants in 23 states valued at nearly $200,000.  The grants have varied from patrol rifles, body armor, riot control gear, AED’s, K9’s, forensic software, flashlights, Police/Youth Dialogue training, night vision optics, LED flares, ballistic helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus.  The Spirit of Blue Foundation deeply appreciates the generosity and support of the national LEU organization, its Board of Directors, their regional divisions and the riders who participate in the Road to Hope Memorial Ride each year.

Law Enforcement United (LEU) awarded the Spirit of Blue Foundation $50,000 at their 8th Annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride arrival ceremony. Presenting the donation from LEU was (left to right) Asst. Executive Director Steve Callow, Director of Outreach Mark Faust, and Executive Director Wallace “Chad” Chadwick. Receiving the donation was Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue Foundation.

About The Spirit of Blue Foundation

The Spirit of Blue Foundation, based in Rochester, NY, is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs.  The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and safety equipment manufacturers.  Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Equipment and Training Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country from local to federal levels.  Since 2011 the Foundation has awarded 45 grants in 23 states valued at nearly $200,000.

Leicester Police Department Receives Personal Protective Equipment from the Spirit of Blue Foundation

WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTES – April 11, 2017 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced that it has awarded a Safety Equipment Grant to the Leicester Police Department (LPD) for the purchase of personal protective equipment.  LPD received five sets of Damascus FlexForce riot control suits, Damascus Vector gloves and clear impact-resistant riot control shields, valued at $5,691.25.  The equipment will enable LPD officers to adequately protect themselves when responding to riots, protests and other incidents requiring crowd control.

“The Leicester Police Department would like to thank the Spirit of Blue Foundation for providing us with this protective equipment.  The equipment affords officers additional protection in a variety of different scenarios,” said Chief Jim Hurley of the Leicester Police Department.  “The equipment has been placed in ‘go bags’ so that it can be rapidly deployed to officers in Leicester or to other law enforcement agencies in surrounding communities.   The purchase of this equipment, by the Spirit of Blue Foundation, shows that they truly have law enforcement’s back.”

Funding for the grant was provided by a generous gift from The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation (DDBRCF), which serves our neighborhoods through children’s health, hunger relief and safety. Since 2006, together with Dunkin’ Brands franchisees, The DDBRCF has awarded $11 million in grants to local charities such as food banks and children’s hospitals.  In total the DDBRCF has enabled Spirit of Blue to make 17 Safety Equipment Grants throughout New England with a total value of more than $100,000.

“Sadly, there are too many examples of speech transitioning into violence, and our nation’s police officers are put at risk when having to respond to keep the peace,” said Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue.  “Further, the Leicester Police are planning to lend this equipment to neighboring agencies at a moment’s notice when they are faced with similar situations, so the impact of this grant will be felt well beyond just this city.”

Statistics released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show that 135 law enforcement officers lost their lives in 2016, an increase of 10% from the prior year.  64 of those officers were firearm related fatalities, representing a 56% increase over 2015.  53 were lost as a result of a traffic related incident.  The reality of these statistics, and the increasing number of underfunded law enforcement agencies across the country, fuel the Spirit of Blue safety grant initiative.

The Spirit of Blue Foundation actively encourages the public at large to honor and appreciate law enforcement officers who serve to protect our communities.  By supporting the Spirit of Blue Foundation, the public can make an impact in the lives of law enforcement officers every day. To learn more about the Spirit of Blue, or make a donation, visit www.spiritofblue.org.

Image Caption – The Leicester Police Department is staging the five sets of granted protective equipment in portable gear bags in their patrol cars for quick deployment.  Included are Damascus FlexForce suits, Damascus Vector gloves and impact-resistant protective shields.

About The Spirit of Blue Foundation

The Spirit of Blue Foundation, based in Rochester, NY, is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs.  The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and private equipment manufacturers.  Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country from local to state levels.

Tipton County Sheriff’s Office Receives K9 Safety Grant from the Spirit of Blue Foundation

TIPTON, INDIANA – April 5, 2017 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced that it has awarded a K9 Safety Grant to the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) to train their acquired K9 service dog.  The new dog, K9 Nelson, is serving with handler Deputy William Cline who has served with TCSO for 2 years.  K9 Nelson is a dual purpose dog trained in tracking, apprehension and narcotics detection.  The $3,000 grant was sponsored by the Planet Dog Foundation, the charitable arm of dog toy and accessory manufacturer Planet Dog, who has given over $1 million dollars to organizations that bring people and dogs together for fun and mutual support.

“The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciates the grant it has received from the Spirit of Blue Foundation,” said Tipton County Sheriff Tony Frawley.  “The grant allowed K-9 Nelson to complete his training and become a valuable asset to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Cline and K-9 Nelson proudly serve the residents of Tipton County each and every day and continually work to make Tipton County a safe place to live and work.”

K9 Nelson is a 3-year old Belgian Malinois who was bred in the Netherlands.  He finished his basic training at Von Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana before going through his final training at a K9 academy offered through the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office in Muncie, Indiana.  On his very first night on duty, K9 Nelson hit on a car during a traffic stop indicating there were narcotics present.  The search of the vehicle revealed four plastic baggies containing a tannish-white granular substance.  Around the baggies were dryer sheets used in an attempt to cover the substance’s odor.  The owner of the vehicle told deputies the substance was the chemical used in creating the synthetic drug commonly known as “Spice”.  In total 12.5 ounces of the substance was located and the driver of the vehicle was arrested on possession charges.

K9’s bring an auditory and olfactory advantage to police work, able to track subjects and identify articles not easily found by their human counterparts.  But, all K9’s are trained to protect their handlers, making them an effective less lethal force option while enhancing the safety of officers on duty.  When not on duty, K9 Nelson resides with Deputy Cline at his home as the family pet.

“The TCSO was very resourceful in working with their local businesses to raise the funds to acquire K9 Nelson,” said Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue.  “But when they contacted us and shared that they lacked the funding for the final training phase we sprang into action to get that piece in place and get K9 Nelson and Deputy Cline out working on the road together.  It is wonderful to see so clearly the direct impact that our granting ability makes for agencies such as this one.”

Statistics released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show that 135 law enforcement officers lost their lives in 2016, an increase of 10% from the prior year.  64 of those officers were firearm related fatalities, representing a 56% increase over 2015.  53 were lost as a result of a traffic related incident.  In addition, the Officer Down Memorial Page reported that 25 K9 working dogs were lost in 2016 as well.  The reality of these statistics, and the increasing number of underfunded law enforcement agencies across the country, fuel the Spirit of Blue safety grant initiative.

The Spirit of Blue Foundation actively encourages the public at large to honor and appreciate law enforcement officers who serve to protect our communities.  By supporting the Spirit of Blue Foundation, the public can make an impact in the lives of law enforcement officers every day. To learn more about the Spirit of Blue, or make a donation, visit www.spiritofblue.org.

Image Caption – Sheriff Tony D. Frawley (left) and Deputy William D. Cline (right) surround K9 Nelson who has quickly made a name for himself as a valuable asset for the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office.

About The Spirit of Blue Foundation

The Spirit of Blue Foundation, based in Rochester, NY, is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs.  The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and private equipment manufacturers.  Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country from local to state levels.

It’s That Time of Year Again – Spirit of Blue Wreaths

Spirit of Blue Foundation is a charity that grants safety equipment to police agencies in need. They first came to my attention via Blue Force Gear’s efforts to help spread the word about their original fundraiser – the Spirit of Blue Wreath. Well, it’s almost time to hang your Christmas decorations so it’s time to let you know that the wreaths are available once again. $10 from every wreath goes to support Spirit of Blue and will benefit the safety of police officers nationwide. Simply go and order today at http://bit.ly/wreath16.

It has been a particularly heart breaking few days for police officers nation wide. This could be a good way to show your support for the work they do.

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Thin Blue Line Tees from Tactical Distributors to Benefit Spirit of Blue

Tactical Distributors has two tee shirt options with thin blue line motifs for sale to benefit Spirit of Blue, a non-profit foundation “dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs”. $10 from the sale of each shirt will go to Spirit of Blue.

You can check out both shirt designs at Tactical Distributors:

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Keep Calm and Return Fire (in collaboration with Soldier Systems Daily)

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Spirit of Blue Tourniquet Project

Spirit of Blue is teaming with North American Rescue to put life saving tourniquets in the hands of police officers around the country.

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Spirit of Blue is launching the Tourniquet Project with the goal of granting 500 tourniquets to police officers across the country who are in need of one.  With every $30 donation, Spirit of Blue will grant one C-A-T Tourniquet from North American Rescue.  Tourniquets have proven to be one of the most affordable and effective lifesaving tools on the modern battlefield and the potential for them to protect the lives of law enforcement officers is just as great, though access to them pales to that of in the military.  So, we aim to get 500 new tourniquets into the hands of officers before the end of the year and then grow this program consistently over time.

Check out the Spirit of Blue Tourniquet Project.

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