By Carrie Vittitoe
|The 2005 death of Rebecca Grignon-Reker’s husband, Officer Peter Grignon, started the Louisville Metro Police Foundation.|
She is shown here with memorabilia from his service. Photos by Melissa Donald
Safety and security are gifts we prize in our city, but we don’t often consider the cost of these gifts to the men and women who help provide them.
The 2005 death of Officer Peter Grignon spurred the creation of the Louisville Metro Police Foundation (LMPF), which works to ensure that the first responders who provide help to the community get the resources they need.
One of the ways in which the Foundation does this is through its Officer in Distress Fund. This grant process provides assistance to officers and their immediate family members when dealing with a personal crisis, such as a house fire, serious illness, or death. In the midst of crises, police “give up their nights, their holidays, and time with their kids. They abandon their own families to care for others,” says Tracie Texas Shugart, LMPF’s executive director. The LMPF works to ensure that the officers are taken care of when they need help the most.
The Foundation also raises funds to help departments purchase needed equipment and attend trainings. Tracie says just under 94 percent of the police budget goes to personnel costs, so the foundation helps where it can to ensure officers have the resources they need. The foundation has purchased K9 dogs, a bomb suit, and SWAT team training, among many other things.
With the support of local businesses, the LMPF also helps each division coordinate its Shop With a Cop program, which officers take part in with both local children and older adults in senior communities this month.