Golf Tournament Raises Money For Survivors of Fallen Officers

Golf Tournament Raises Money For Survivors of Fallen Officers
By: Crystal Britt

JACKSON, Mo. - Two years ago Missouri led the nation in the number of highway patrol officers killed in the line of duty.  Today, nationwide the number of officer deaths continues to climb.  

There's an organization called "Concerns of Police Survivors" or "C.O.P.S" that helps those left behind.  The organization currently helps about 15,000 families across the country. Every year they hold retreats for family members, like camps for kids and parents.  
On Friday, folks grabbed their clubs at the Bent Creek Golf Course in Jackson, looking to raise money for a special retreat coming up in September for spouses.  Organizers hope that time grieving with other spouses who know their pain will help them through.
With every swing, a dollar is made to help those devastated by the loss of a fallen officer.  
For Jean Hill, playing a round of golf is bitter sweet. She doesn't play like she used to, not since she lost her her golf partner, and son deputy Barry Hill. He was killed in the line of duty in December of 2000.
"One of my babies is gone and it's devastating and is still devastating.  It's something I'll never get over," said Hill. 
Jean isn't alone, she's a member of a club no mother, or wife, or child ever wants to be in. The club: "Concerns Of Police Survivors".
"We've just done a June 30th report on officer deaths this year and it's much higher that in past several years," said Suzie Sawyer, Executive Director of C.O.P.S.
Suzie went on to say, "We have 380 families in Missouri that we work with on a regular basis."
Part of that connection is through camps for kids.  Children who've lost a police officer parent come together for support and understanding.  C.O.P.S does the same for parents like Jean Hill.  
"When Barry was killed, I woke up one morning and I said I really need to talk to another mom and I wanted to talk to one who knew my pain and my heartache," said Hill. 
C.O.P.S has been around for more than 30 years. This year's spouse retreat will be in Potosi, Missouri in September.