Wednesday, May 9, 2012



DC 2012

During the preparation for the 2012 Washington DC Police Week trip I was researching law enforcement memorials that we could attend and also Fraternal Order of Police lodges we could visit. I happened upon a story about a Louisville police officer who has a little girl named Hayli Nobles who had been diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia and was being treated at St Jude’s Hospital in Memphis. 
After some research and some help from the local Louisville FOP 614, we were able to set a meeting with Hayli and her family. The meeting took place on Wednesday at a rural training facility where Hayli’s father was attending SWAT training.

In preparation of our meeting we had acquired a teddy bear who had been riding shotgun with Critter in the back window of TBL across several states. We had an opportunity stop at a way side rest and take a photograph with Critter and his friend with TBL. We will frame the photograph and have it delivered to Hayli in the near future.

When we met Hayli and her parents she was an absolute shining star and was happy and healthy. She is near the end of her treatment and things are looking good for her and her parents. Haily and the SWAT team officers were very gracious and took many photo’s with TBL and I am so thankful she is doing well. When Justin gave her the teddy bear he got a big smile and a hug and the bear was named “Teddy Bear” by Hayli.

We left feeling a little better about the world…

Roger Schroeder

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Frankfort Kentucky

DC Trip 2012

On May 6 2012 at about 8:00 pm the TBL group arrived at Frankfort. We drove down to the capitol grounds and found the Historical Society building where the memorial service was going to take place the next morning. When we pulled into the parking lot we found a Frankfort officer parked in his new squad filling out paper work. We stopped and after being given permission to approach the squad the young officer proudly displayed a Thin Blue Line wrist band. He was very excited to hear our story about the TBL Memorial Vehicle and he brought the news of our arrival back to roll call at his department. 

We returned to our hotel and began writing up information to be posted on our web page when I got a call from Glenda Lehmann who is the Kentucky State Auxiliary President. Her group in responsible for putting together and executing the Kentucky memorial each year and she had just completed a memorial planning meeting. During the course of our conversation we decided to meet tonight at the capitol grounds so she could show us the lay of the land. 

We drove back down to the Historical building around midnight and once we were there we posted colors for her and turned on the blue LED flag pole lights and the blue halogen undercarriage lights on TBL. She was very moved by how beautiful the memorial was and she then asked me if we would be willing to lead their procession from the Historical building to their Capital building and their Law Enforcement memorial. Of course this was a great honor and privilege and we agreed to do it.

The next day we were up at 5:30 am and washed then hand dried TBL and drove back to our assigned location at the Historical building. Around 8:00 am people started showing up to include members of the seven different honor guards that were part of the procession, police officers and deputies from around the state as well as community dignitaries and clergy. All were wonderful people that care and understand what is lost when an officer is taken away.

As the time got closer to noon when the memorial started, survivors started showing up with children, parents and grandparents of the fallen officers. Because of where we had been intentionally asked to stage, everybody that arrived had a chance to view the TBL Memorial Vehicle. Invariably every person looked at the memorial and was pleased at what they saw, there were many tears and much pride and we were all humbled. 

At noon the memorial started inside the Historical building. At about 12:45 people began filing out of the building and lining up behind the TBL memorial vehicle. We left the area and drove very slowly down the street with honor guards directly behind followed by a lone bag piper and then police officers and deputies, state troopers and federal officers in plane cloths and survivors including parents and children all walking together in some cases hand in hand and at the end they were followed by officers on horseback. 

As the procession worked its way from the Historical building start to the Law Enforcement Memorial it only traveled three blocks, but as it moved all the people that were watching along the way stopped and either put their hands over their hearts or saluted.
When we arrived at the memorial the governor read a proclamation and there was music and a 21 gun salute to the fallen officers. 

After the memorial was completed we all returned to the Historical Center and had lunch. There was an opportunity to talk to many officers, survivors and citizens. There were many photos taken of TBL and lots of conversations about how the memorial came to be. Being asked to lead this memorial procession was a huge honor and reinforces how strong the unspoken bond is between officers no matter where you are from, we always come together in times of solace.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

2012 Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial

DC Trip 2012

The Thin Blue Line crew consisting of Pedro Salazar, Dustin Struckman and Roger Schroeder left Northfield MN on 5-3-2012 at 9:30 pm. and arrived in Jefferson City MO at 6:30 am on 5-4-2012. A little tired but ready to make new friends at the 2012 Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial event.

The TBL crew first went to the Missouri Law Enforcement memorial located at the Capital Building complex. We took photos and got organized for the candle light vigil that takes place at 8:00 pm tonight. 

We then returned to our hotel where many of the Concerns Of Police Survivors were staying. The hotel manager offered to have us to post TBL at the front entrance to welcome all the incoming guests and it gave us a change right out of the gate to put Minnesota’s best foot forward.

TBL staff attended a reception for COPS at out hotel during late afternoon and we were warmly received. We gave TBL wrist bands to all the children in attendance and people were very moved we would travel this far just to extend a hand to our brothers and sisters in law Enforcement.

Last August TBL staff attended a COPS fund raiser golf tournament in Missouri and I met Karen Armstrong. She is a wonderful woman who lost her son in an in line of duty death and she is a recent president of the Missouri COPS organization. We brought her a wind chime to celebrate the life of her fallen son. We were able to surprise her in a semi private setting with little fanfare and commotion. There will be more about this later.

During the candle light vigil, the TBL Memorial Vehicle was placed near the memorial and we posted our colors using our Fallen Officer Flag and United States flag. We also activated our blue illuminated flag poles and the blue undercharge lights, the TBL was a stunning symbol of our Law Enforcement comradely and there were many people that took time to talk to us and look at our memorial. There were many prideful tears from survivors, hugs and handshakes. 

After the event we were invited to the Missouri State FOP Lodge in Jefferson City and were given a wonderful barbeque pulled pork meal with all the trimmings. We were entertained by the St Louis County Police Bag Pipe crew and met many wonderful people.

On 5-5-2012 at 9:00 am we were back at the capitol complex for the second half of the two day memorial. Today there were several honor guard groups, a firing party and many law enforcement officers from across Missouri and many community members in attendance. We were asked to place the TBL Memorial Vehicle in front of a church located just down the hill from the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial. After the memorial event was competed the community members we invited to come to the church for a dinner. All the attendees had a chance to walk past our memorial and there were many conversations and hand shaken. The public here are very supportive of their officers and the officers are proud, professional and took time to stop and visit with us. 

Our time in Jefferson City is coming to a close but I will say the people here are exceptional and we have made many new friends.