This is an exciting project for the Indianapolis Police Foundation, Fraternal Order of Police, IMPD and members of our community. Five years ago, on July 10, 2008, Officer Jason Fishburn was shot in the line of duty on the near eastside of Indianapolis. Officer Fishburn sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen, which was stopped by his bullet resistant vest and he suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Responding officers were able to begin emergency medical care on the scene of the shooting as the result of an officer having a prepared gunshot trauma kit. As a result, Officer Fishburn survived his injuries and has gone on to defy medical predictions about his possible recovery. Officer Fishburn has since medically retired from the IMPD and enjoys life with his family. We are so grateful for his ongoing recovery and for his continued commitment to improve the working conditions and safety for our police officers.
Ever since this incident, many of the police officers involved that day have been diligently working to ensure every officer has such a lifesaving tool at their disposal. Like most issues we face today, this project has often faced the daunting challenge of finding money within existing depleted police budget funds. However, while budgets are lean and any extra money is tight, our police officers continue to face challenging and unknown threats multiple times every day.
That is exactly why the both public and private funding streams are so vitally important to keeping our police and in turn our community safe. Recently, the FOP learned of the fantastic efforts of The Father’s House on the southeast side of Indianapolis. Dr. Christopher Holland who is the Pastor of this church leads his congregation in an annual effort to support the officers of the East and Southeast Districts where they are located. Each year, the church hosts an annual IMPD Roll Call at their location and provides a token of appreciation to those officers. This year, the church is seeking to provide gunshot trauma kits to the 200 patrol officers on the East and Southeast side. This effort alone required a fundraising effort of $20,000 by September 13, 2013.
However, upon learning of this grassroots project, the FOP reached out to Pastor Holland and his staff to ensure that the contents matched the critical items needed for IMPD officers. During these meetings, members of the law enforcement and medical trauma communities reviewed and approved the contents. Fortunately, the materials included matched those provided already provided to IMPD special units, such as SWAT and EOD. All IMPD officers received training on these pieces of medical equipment and were ready to utilize.
The total amount needed to provide this emergency medical equipment to every IMPD officer was approximately $150,000. This represented a per kit cost of $100 for the 1,500 brave men and women of IMPD. We are happy to report that through community donations, and the support of businesses such as Wellpoint and the Indianapolis Colts, our initial goal was reached and each IMPD officers was provided a life-saving kit.
The work is not complete, however, in that more IMPD officers are being hired and trained to meet the needs of the community, and other agencies throughout Marion County and beyond also have need. To assist in these efforts, the Indianapolis Police Foundation at the Fraternal Order of Police has agreed to receive and administer this ongoing fundraising effort. Together, we are confident we can finally bring this critical project to a reality and uphold our commitment to Officer Fishburn and all those officers injured or killed in the line of duty to do all that we can for them when they give their all for us.
With each kit costing $100, please consider pledging your support of our brave men and women in blue. Your gift can provide a life-saving resource for officers and community members. To make your tax-deductible donation, fill out the form below.