OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY – October 1, 2019 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced that it has awarded a Safety Equipment Grant to the Owensboro Police Department (OPD) to outfit all of their 110 officers with tourniquets and duty belt cases. The Gen7 C-A-T Tourniquet from North American Rescue and a RIGID TQ Case with Basketweave finish from Eleven-10 has been added to their uniform policy and will be worn on their duty belts. The grant was primarily funded by a partnership with Law Enforcement United and is valued at $7,736.70.
“Tourniquets are wonderful to have, but they are only useful if you have them at hand. Seconds save lives,” stated Deputy Chief Jeff Speed of the Owensboro Police Department. ”These new tourniquets will improve safety for both officers and for members of the public who are injured because they will always be on an officer’s belt.”
Tourniquets are vital pieces of medical equipment that officers 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 fellow officer to prevent excessive blood loss until that individual can be placed into medical care. As a secondary benefit, officers who carry a tourniquet are also able to use them to rescue a member of the community who may have experienced a similar type of injury. Spirit of Blue Foundation will replace any tourniquet that is used in the line of duty for the life of the tourniquet so that no officer who uses their tourniquet will have to go without one in the future.
Since its first tourniquet grant in 2013, Spirit of Blue has granted 3,300 tourniquets nationwide with one officer and five community member saves being made as a result.
“This is the tenth grant we have awarded in the Bluegrass State,” shared Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue Foundation. “Each agency we have worked with is staffed with the most wonderful, committed people. These communities are fortunate to have protectors such as these standing in the gap.”
The lead sponsor for the grant was Law Enforcement United (LEU), who has supported Spirit of Blue with over $280,000 in safety grant funding since 2015. LEU is an organization of 1,000 active and retired police officers who honor fallen officers and raise funds to assist charitable organizations that serve the law enforcement community. Each year LEU members ride 250 miles or more into Washington, DC to participate in National Police Week events and carry flags in honor of fallen officers which are given to the surviving family members upon their arrival. Since its founding in 2009, LEU has raised over $6,750,000 for law enforcement causes. Other sponsors included North American Rescue and Eleven 10 who offered special pricing on the equipment.
Statistics released by the Officer Down Memorial Page show that 92 law enforcement officers have already lost their lives in 2019. On average, 150 officers are lost in the line of duty each year. 36 of those deaths were firearm related, which so far has been the leading cause of officer deaths this year. 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 and 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 to become an annual member, visit www.spiritofblue.org.
Image Caption – Receiving the Spirit of Blue Safety Equipment Grant was (left to right) Officer Craig Sutter, Deputy Chief Jeff Speed, Major Gordon Black and Lieutenant JD Winkler of the Owensboro Police Department.
About The Spirit of Blue Foundation
The Spirit of Blue Foundation 501(c)(3) is based out of Rochester, NY and is 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 112 grants in 40 states.