Families of fallen cops come together on the water
OSAGE BEACH – Boats were docked as several people joined together Saturday at Backwater Jack’s on the Lake of the Ozarks.
The Boating for C.O.P.S. Fun Run began at 10 a.m. Many showed up in boats for the event, while others came by land. The money raised benefitted Concerns of Police Survivors , or C.O.P.S., a nonprofit organization that helps rebuild the lives of families and co-workers who know officers killed in the line of duty.
The event was organized by Garrett Moor. He said he has many family members and friends in the police force and he wanted to give back to them.
“I called around and I actually called a couple different places and I actually got in with Camdenton,” he said.
Camdenton is where C.O.P.S. is headquartered.
“I did the first run with them,” Moor said. “We raised $660.”
After talking with a friend, Moor decided to do a run of his own. The plan for the day was to drive or boat to six different locations on the lake throughout the day. At each stop, participants could come together for drinks.
“Next year what we want to do is I want to try to get partnered up with someone who knows how to run the poker runs down here at the lake. Hopefully we’ll try to get it turned into a poker run next year where we can do a registration dinner on a Thursday and do the run on a Friday so it’s not as rough on people,” he said.
Moor said he had a family friend who was a police officer in Gladstone who died of self-inflicted wounds. However, Moor was not the only person at the event affected by death.
Rob King has been a police officer in St. Louis for 18 years. On March 24, 2010, his partner was killed while pursuing a burglar.
“I was absolutely destroyed,” King said.
King said he began to feel disconnected toward his job. After his wife signed him up for a C.O.P.S. retreat, King said he began to heal. He now participates in fundraisers for the organization, such as the one held Saturday.
“I’m grateful for everybody’s support,” King said. “It’s a small event, but every dollar counts.”
The money raised today will go toward the Missouri chapter of C.O.P.S.
“The event is crucial to support the Missouri chapter,” King said. “There are a handful of things that the chapter is tasked with. One of those tasks is providing transportation, lodging and activities for families of fallen policemen annually to attend National Police Week in Washington, D.C. to see their loved ones' name added to our national memorial.”
Despite a small crowd, Moor said he is thankful to all who showed up.
“I just hope everyone has a good time and everyone on a boat stays safe,” he said. “I hope next year it gets bigger and better.”