About the Chapter
Our Mission: Rebuilding shattered lives of survivors and co-workers affected by line of duty deaths.
On November 8, 1998, a group of survivors from the Washington, DC area came together to form what would become the Washington, DC Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).
The need for a chapter of our own emerged in 1997. Three Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers were killed in three months. Two of the officers were murdered three weeks apart, in February, and the third in April. By the time National Police Week arrived in May, the MPD family, the survivors of the slain officers, and the entire metropolitan area was in a state of shock. When Shirley Gibson, mother of Master Patrol Officer Brian Gibson, received a C.O.P.S. brochure about a retreat for parents, she knew it was absolutely necessary that she and her husband attend. At the retreat, they met parents from all over the country who understood the pain of losing a child in law enforcement. They also learned how C.O.P.S. reaches out to the entire family, including spouses, children, parents, siblings, police partners and co-workers. They wanted every other survivor of an officer killed in the District metropolitan area to know what C.O.P.S. would do to help.
Several months later, Shirley and her daughter Terrica met Oliver and Cynthia Smith. Their son, Oliver Wendell Smith, Jr., had been killed barely three weeks after Brian. Following the seminars offered by C.O.P.S. during National Police Week 1998, the parents began inquiries about forming a DC Chapter. After being joined by another parent, Mary McGee (James McGee, Jr., ’95), MPD Officer Ken Roden and MPD Reserve Officer Rob Baechtel, and his wife, Barbara, and contacting other survivors, the Washington, DC Chapter of C.O.P.S. was born. We were granted a charter by National C.O.P.S. in November 1998.
The DC Chapter is committed to reaching out and providing support to local and federal survivors in Washington, DC. The chapter has been warmly accepted by law enforcement agencies throughout the city. We will always be grateful to National C.O.P.S. for this wonderful opportunity to bring the benefits of the organization to the Nation’s capital.
YOU can help our Chapter and participate in the events and programs that support our survivors. The Chapter responds after all LOD deaths to support the surviving families, co-workers, and agencies. It will offer support as long as needed to all survivors and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year. All of our board members are volunteers and survivors parents, spouses, children, siblings, co-workers, and others. We are a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charity and we survive solely on donations of citizens and businesses and are always looking for support.
Remember….help is always just a phone call away!