Despite the disappointment of not having the Fall Conference, October was a busy month with great opportunities to engage the community and tell them about Blue Watch.
Burke Swearingen had the opportunity to speak to the Vestavia Sunrise Rotary at their monthly breakfast on October 7 and to the United Methodist Men at Riverchase United Methodist Church on October 17. It was great for Burke to meet with such great groups and talk to them about the challenges facing the law enforcement community.
A special word of thanks to each of these groups for allowing Burke to tell the story of Blue Watch and its mission.
On October 21, Blue Watch was at the Vestavia Hills Community Night Out. This is an annual community event of great food, family and friends.
Close to 200 people stopped by the Blue Watch booth to learn about who we are and what we do.
Breaching the Barricade Conference
On October 8, Burke Swearingen had the honor of attending the Breaching the Barricade Law Enforcement Conference in Elkhart, Indiana. Close to 150 officers from across the country attended this annual event that encourages and strengthens the officers.
Next, on October 9, was the 27th Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in Sturgis, Michigan. This event was attended by over 600 officers and their families. They came from a three-state region to unwind and relax, knowing that the community really does appreciate their sacrifice.
It was a day filled with Jeep rides, shooting competitions, fishing, bounce houses and much more. It took 300 volunteers and two dozen churches coming together to make this a reality.
A special word of thanks goes out to Jim Bontrager for allowing Burke to be his guest and to all he does to make this a reality.
Winning A Gunfight
In October copies of “Winning A Gunfight” was sent to four departments across the state – Muscle Shoals, Warrior, Sylacauga and Lee County.
On October 1, there were two office-involved shootings. One was in Warrior when a detective was shot multiple times while investigating drug activity. The other was in Muscle Shoals when officers from Muscle Shoals and Sheffield exchanged gunfire with suspect Brian Lansing after he shot and pushed an individual from his vehicle then fled the scene. Officers were able to locate and isolate the suspect, preventing his escape. Officers then exchanged gunfire with Lansing which resulted in the injury of officers and the death of Sgt. Rick Risner of Sheffield who was fatally wounded in the gunfight.
On October 13, Sylacauga officers shot and wounded a suspect when fired upon in the parking lot of First Baptist Church. In Lee County a deputy was injured when fired upon by a suspect he had stopped.
The dangers officers face daily continue to increase. In October alone, there were at least four incidents in Alabama where officers exchanged gunfire with suspects. One resulted in the loss of an officer’s life. These events can be traumatic and leave lasting scares that negatively impacts the officer’s life.
This is why Blue Watch actively pursues officers who have encountered such events to provide resources that allow them to overcome.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a gun battle and would like a copy of the book, let us know. We will send you a copy at no charge. Simply email us at email@example.com.
We Want to Hear From You!
Blue Watch is here to serve you – the law enforcement community and your families. We want to hear from you because we want to offer services that you need and want. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The people of Alabama support their officers and they stand ready to help.
There are many ways to support the Blue Watch mission:
- Pray – we need prayer warriors who will pray for us on an ongoing basis and at special events.
- Volunteer – we are in need of people who will help manage our website, social media and other aspects of the ministry. If the mission of Blue Watch is of interest to you and you have a skillset to offer, consider Blue Watch.
- Donate – it takes money to make all of this happen. The Lord greatly blessed us in 2020, but to continue our progress will require increased giving. You can give online or by check.
If any of these are of interest to you, please email us at email@example.com.
Support the Mission
Please prayerfully consider making Blue Watch part of your year-end giving. The faithful giving of many in the community has made all we’ve done possible. To continue the mission will require greater community support. If this is something you feel led to support, you can donate by:
- Clicking the “Donate” button at the top of the page.
- Making a check payable to Blue Watch and mail to 2620 Swiss Lane, Birmingham, AL 35226.
Blue Watch is a 501c(3) non-profit. All donations are tax deductible.
The mission of Blue Watch is to help officers and their families experience the relevance and benefits of God in their lives.