Cops Helping Cops News - New Orleans
Cops Helping Cops evolves as it takes on its first Firefighters home
Cops helping Cops took another step in it's goal to help all Emergency Service Workers by announcing that it will be taking on it's first NOFD Officers home. CHC thought that this was now the right time to make the switch over. What made the decision even more of a good idea, was the fact that CHC announced last month that the trip would be a Firefighter's Only trip. During the trip, the group of 31 Firefighters would split into two as they took on an NOPD Officers home as well. CHC at this time is still interviewing members of the NOFD and the home will be chosen over the next two days.
Cops Helping Cops Announces there will be a Firefighters only trip in December
Cops helping Cops announces that the upcoming trip in December will have a new twist. The trip will consist of Firefighters Only. The idea came when a member of the Vancouver Fire Service contacted Cops Helping Cops and a suggestion was made. CHC was told that there was no shortage of firefighters who wanted to sign up. The next day, there were 12 applications received for the trip.
Cops helping Cops spoke with members of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation and received approval for three more trips. Now volunteers can sign up for anyone of the trips which are slated for: September 22nd - 30th, November 10th - 18th, and December 10th - 18th.
Members of Cops Helping Cops are looking forward to this challenge as it will help that many more people enjoy their first holiday back in their home since the storm. Over the next few days volunteers who have signed up will be interviewed. Next comes the process of qualifying the home that shall be done on each of the trip. More information to be announced
Cops helping Cops returned from New Orleans a week ago and was shocked to learn just how much NOPD Officers are being taken advantage of. On our last few trips the members of CHC have been hearing stories of Police Officers losing money to contractors who were charging 4 - 10 times the going rate for a similar job elsewhere. However, on this last trip, we were astounded to hear of something far worse plaguing the NOPD. Contractors taking off with the Officers money and doing NOTHING!!!
Officers that have lost everything taking out a loan or taking their entire savings and trying to rebuild their lives from scratch and giving money to contractors only to have the contractor up and take off with the last of what the had to start again. We had one Officer have a contractor take off with $92,000. Another Officer over $60,000. It was very heartbreaking to hear this has been going on.
Cops Helping Cops sat down with Assistant Superintendent Marlon Defillo at a dinner given by the NYC PBA. During that dinner we discussed with Assistant Superintendent DeFillo what had been going on with some of his officers. Defillo vowed to follow up with the officers and was planning a meeting between himself, the officers, and the District Attorney to address the situation and have charges brought up on the contractors.
The next Officer Cops Helping Cops came to help, has been through some rough times. Captain Clarence Herbert of the NOPD Mounted Unit has seen a lot of action over the last few years. "BEAR", as his friends call him, has been shot, hit while on his motorcycle on duty and has also even had a piece of scum try to assassinate him. This, on top of losing his Mom to Hurricane Katrina.
Dave Fowler met Bear and couldn't believe that a guy could still be the kind, gentle soul he was after so much had happen to him. Dave stated that Bear was one of the nicest Officers they had met yet. The Officers on the trip were not only equally as fond of Bear for who he was, but loved the home cooked Gumbo and Jambalaya.
Cops helping Cops returned a few days ago from helping eight more Officers. CHC offered everything from mental health assistance to getting each of the officers closer to having their families returning home. As the team arrived it seemed like an impossible task. But days were long from 7am - 6pm and everyone pitched together.
The homes each had their own difficulty. One of the homes had 12+ ceilings. Electrical, Insulating and Sheet rocking seemed almost impossible at first with what we had to work with. However, we had some very creative people and all went very well.
Once again, our entire team was invited over Chief Bryson's home where he and his wife cooked us an amazing meal. Everyone there was completely stuffed and had a wonderful time.
Cops Helping Cops would like to thank Chief Bryson, and his family, for opening their home and making us feel welcome. Unfortunately, we would also like to blame the Chief for having to go out an purchase larger clothes as everyone thought they were 10 pounds heavier than when they arrived!!!
Cops helping Cops has set its next date in motion to head back to New Orleans. Starting January 6th, members and volunteers will head back down to in an effort to make the N.O.P.D. stronger by helping out its officers. The goal is to complete at least three homes and get three families back into their home.
Right now, Cops Helping Cops has enough volunteers to get 1.5 homes done and are hoping to get enough to complete all three. Many Officers from prior trips are also working on returning.
Cops helping Cops is happy to report that our first trip was a success. We arrived in New Orleans with members of the FDNY, NYPD, Michigan Sheriffs Office, Search and Rescue personnel and Reed City, MI FD. For the next few days we worked together as a team in the heat, with bugs, and over coming interesting obstacles and getting our first N.O.P.D. Officer back in his home. For all that went, It was an uplifting experience. For a Police Department, It let them know that they weren't alone.
Cops Helping Cops also got a few surprises. The first was a media blitz. It seems the media enjoyed the fact that people were working on Labor Day, when others were at rest. So we had every major news network visiting us. Next, we enjoyed meeting other members of the Police Department. We were cooked authentic Louisiana meals (which we really enjoyed) and had the pleasure of meeting Officers, Captains, Chiefs and the Superintendent (Commissioner) of the N.O.P.D. We even had the pleasure of meeting Sir Earl Toon of Kool and the Gang. Nice guy.
Cops Helping Cops would like to Thank all the people that went down and Helped.
August 25, 2006
Cops helping Cops begins construction of the first homes on August 27, 2006. With members of the NYPD, FDNY, and Michigan Sheriffs Office, volunteers will be heading down on Sunday to start the first of many homes. Cops Helping Cops will be trying to complete a home in eight days. They have been lucky enough to have help from many different sources. Companies, Foundations, Police Officers, Firefighters and individuals are all stepping up to the plate.
It will be a huge job. However the payoff will be much larger. All of us going down know not only how important it is to help each other out in a time of need, but how amazing it will be to tell someone they can bring their family home.
July 28, 2006
Christopher Lyons, of Cops helping Cops, met with Robert Stellingworth of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation on Monday along with Chief Bryson. The meeting lasted a few hours, but when the meeting was finished, a deal had been made. Thanks to everyone, the first set of homes to be rebuilt is now slated to begin. The meeting was not without difficulty. The Officers of the N.O.P.D have been promised alot. However, they have received very little help and many promises had been broken. That is until now. Cops Helping Cops is determined to make this succeed. The first set of homes are slated to begin August 27th, 2006. Two days before the one year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, changing it forever. With the help of Cops Helping Cops, these officers will soon be home with their families.
July 28, 2006
Cops Helping Cops gets backing from NOPD and Office of Homeland Security
Cops helping Cops met with Col. Terry Ebbert, of the Office of Homeland Security for Louisiana, and Chief John Bryson, of the New Orleans Police department, on Friday. "They were very interested in what we had to say and I felt that it went very well" said Chris Lyons of Cops Helping Cops. Undersheriff Dave Fowler, also of Cops Helping Cops said that he also thought the meeting was very successful.
After the meeting, It was decided that Chris would stay behind and meet with the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation on Monday. "I wish I could be there, but I know Chris will do fine" said Dave. Undersheriff Fowler had to return to duty on Monday back up in Michigan.
The New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, founded in 1995, is designed to support the operations and capacities of the New Orleans Police Department. One of the programs is has is to helps Police Officers get financing for their homes. The Foundation also helps fund organizations that help Officers get back into those homes.
July 15, 2006
Cops Helping Cops decides to head back to meet with New Orleans Mayor
Cops helping Cops, trying to move forward with the New Orleans project, has requested a meeting with Mayor Nagin. So far they have a meeting with the Deputy MAyor, the Chief of Police and the head of Homeland Security. CHC is also working on trying to have a sit down with Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco.
"I think it would be great if the governing body of Louisiana got behind its Law Enforcement personnel and other emergency service workers." a spokesman for Cops Helping Cops said. "I only hope they'll listen and help."
April 2, 2006
Cops Helping Cops Heads back down to New Orleans to survey damage
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A cold day in NY towards the end of February. What was supposed to be just a simple phone call "Hello" down to an N.O.P.D Officer, turned out to be something much more. The conversation changed because of one question..."By the way, is there anything you need?" Silence. Then words blurted out in a sad tone..."Toilet Paper...we don't even have toilet paper." How could this be?
After an enlightening phone call, Christopher Lyons contacted Undersheriff Fowler and explained the situation. "They don't even have basic necessities like paper towels, soap and toilet paper" Chris told Fowler. According to the Officer, Chris was told that "it was worse now, then it was after Katrina." "Huh?" "You were under 15 feet of water after Katrina, how could it be worse?" Undersheriff Fowler and Chris Lyons agreed if this was true, something needed to be done. So, deciding they needed to see the devastation first hand, they both headed back to New Orleans.
"I was shocked" said Chris. "I could NOT believe what I saw. I worked down at the WTC and eight months later, you saw a difference. Here, people are living in filth and mold. We live in the United States of America and these are Police Officers. This should NOT be"
Undersheriff Fowler felt the same way Chris did. "I've seen a lot in my 28 years of law enforcement, but this takes the cake. I can't believe our fellow law enforcement brothers and sisters are living this way."
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