National Police Week Activities
At the National Police Survivors’ Conference each May during National Police Week, children who have lost a parent to a line-of-duty death can participate in special activities. For many kids, this is the first time they have made contact with peers – other kids who have gone through the same thing they have – the loss of a parent to line-of-duty death. A dedicated staff of professionals and volunteers assess the children’s emotional well-being, listen and guide them through any issues they wish to talk about, while participating in a variety of fun activities. Results of the emotional assessments are provided to parents after Police Week so that, if needed, additional counseling can be obtained at home.
C.O.P.S. believes that children cannot heal if their surviving parent doesn’t heal. C.O.P.S.’ Summer Camp provides surviving spouses with children (ages 6-14) the opportunity to work with professional counselors and trained mentors to improve communications within the family unit and resolve grief issues together.
Organized camp activities are supplemented with counseling during the week-long camp. Friendly competition, planned activities that encourage team building, and shared fun times in a camp atmosphere help families recognize that the teamwork approach will help them cope with their grief.
Instituted in 1998, C.O.P.S. Annual Wilderness Experience helps surviving older children (aged 15-20) build self-esteem with a group of peers who understand what it is like to lose a law enforcement parent to a line-of-duty death. This annual activity might be mountain climbing in the Rockies in Colorado, or white-water rafting in Utah. This event is an Outward Bound® Program.
Young Adults Camp
C.O.P.S. Young Adults Camp is planned for surviving children and siblings (15-20 years of age) of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, as determined by C.O.P.S. criteria. Other relatives and friends are not eligible to attend.
Growing up without a parent or older sibling role model can be challenging for young teenagers and adults. C.O.P.S. Young Adults Camp will give surviving children and siblings the opportunity to be surrounded by peers who understand, attend grief seminar sessions specifically designed for their needs, and participate in fun and challenging outdoor activities. This camp will be a mixture of enjoyable camp-like activities and a structured adult program, allowing surviving children and siblings to grow into young adults. This camp is planned to offer an alternative program option to surviving minor-aged children and a new program option for surviving minor-aged siblings. We still encourage surviving children to attend the Outward Bound® Adventure Program, but if they are physically unable to participate or have participated for a few years and would like a change, this camp would be a good fit for them.
The Washington State Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (WAStateC.O.P.S.) offers financial assistance for survivors to attend their retreat.
Survivors can contact us for an eligibility form at Info@WashingtonStateCops.Org, or download the eligibility form from our Resources tab.