The National Assistance and Support Organization for Disabled and Injured Police Officers
Why The Wounded Blue
A Message from Lt. Randy Sutton
Our Mission: Helping injured law enforcement
The mission of The Wounded Blue is to:
- provide trained and caring Peer Support to injured and disabled officers and their families
- assist Law Enforcement Officers who are injured physically and psychologically to obtain the treatment and medical/financial benefits they are entitled to when they suffer line-of-duty injuries
- provide financial assistance as needed on a temporary basis
- advocate for stronger protections under state and federal law
- provide emergency funds to injured officers when circumstances dictate the need
- advocate for the positive public perception of law enforcement
Who Are the Wounded Blue?
In 2016 approximately 57,000 Law Enforcement Officers were assaulted in the line of duty and almost 30,000 lost time from work because of Line of Duty injuries. While the severity of these injuries ranged from complaints of pain to permanent disabling injuries many required medical attention. In addition to the visible injuries, emotional and psychological trauma also affected an untold number of Law Enforcement Officers, some of that leading to Post Traumatic Stress Injury. If you required medical treatment or counseling (or if you believe you NEED counseling), YOU are THE WOUNDED BLUE.
To be sure, being The Wounded Blue does not mean you need the services that THE WOUNDED BLUE offers or will be offering in the future. Many Law Enforcement agencies have adequate health plans and workers compensation administrations that address the needs of those who serve and require care and also have Employee Assistance Programs or Peer Support organizations that do excellent work. But many agencies fall woefully short of providing the care and support so desperately needed when a traumatic physical or emotional injury occurs. They may fail to pay the medical bills, approve needed treatment or surgeries and they may reduce pay and fail to even recognize that Post Traumatic Stress Injury is very real and can be debilitating.
That is why THE WOUNDED BLUE was created; to help injured law enforcement, build and administer an Emergency Financial Aid Fund, create a system of effective and caring Peer Support, be a resource for competent and effective legal council and advocate for stronger laws and protection for the American Law Enforcement Officer.
How We Help injured law enforcement
The only thing worse than being traumatically injured in the line of duty is feeling alone, abandoned, helpless and forgotten because of it. That is why The Wounded Blue was created. To stand with those who have sacrificed so much for the communities they serve and do everything in our power to help negotiate the road ahead. We at The Wounded Blue believe that most Americans support their Law Enforcement want to be a catalyst to channel that support into creating better lives for those who have been injured or disabled. Our motto sums it up best. NEVER FORGOTTEN-NEVER ALONE.
Emergency financial assistance for injured law enforcement
Legal assistance to help officers obtain workers compensation and medical benefits
Resources and assistance in dealing with post traumatic stress injury and substance abuse
Public advocacy in strengthening laws protecting injured / disabled LEOs
THE WOUNDED BLUE – HOW CAN WE HELP?
PEER SUPPORT: Getting injured in the line of duty is difficult enough just dealing with the pain of the injury. When you add financial stress, family issues, dealing with the unending bureaucracy of insurance and workers comp, it can be overwhelming. Having someone to talk to that’s “been there” is more than comforting, it’s essential to getting through the ordeal. THE WOUNDED BLUE has a group of professionally trained volunteers that have experienced similar traumas and can provide insight, encouragement, advice or sometimes just be a sounding board, not just for the officers who have been injured but also for their families. Every communication with THE WOUNDED BLUE is confidential and if we can’t help, we will try to find someone who CAN. Everyone’s situation is unique but our Peer Support Officers have the real world experience, resources and most importantly, the desire to help.
This message is in reference to the recent call out to Fort Bend County. I was close friends to the Officer who committed suicide last week. I was struggling and was wondering into a dark place during the aftermath. I felt helpless and did not like where my emotions were taking me. I was talked into sitting down with Eddie and Trevor. I was hesitant at first but quickly found comfort being around them. I walked away from that meeting feeling refreshed and heard. It was nice to know I was not alone in this and others are there willing to help. They were like my own personal Clearances, my guardian angles who came out of nowhere and saved me from falling into a dark place. I still have a long road to recovery but I was given a good foundation to work on.
I am forever grateful for the help and support that Randy Sutton and your organization provided to us regarding the suicide of a former deputy and, close friend of many at the S.O. and the community, Charlie Scott. Even though Charlie was now working at another agency, his death struck at the heart of our team as we had helped him recover from a near fatal shooting 9 years ago while he work at our agency. I especially want kudos to go to Eddie Richardson, Trevor Wilkins and Anna Carrizales. They got us through one of the most difficult critical incidents of our careers. Anna, especially as she knew Charlie well. Eddie and Amanda held me up when my knees were wanting to buckle at the funeral reception. Such love, caring and wisdom from them all.
This group is founded by caring LEO’s who have experienced the same things officers across the country have. They have been there, done that. They have training and a huge heart, even bigger shoulders. Support is confidential and truly caring.
“Call them. They’re there to help and they’ve been where you are.”
“I needed more than the peer support to help myself. They (The Wounded Blue) were able to get me with a counselor to help…”
Peer support from The Wounded Blue saved me from myself…
…I was struggling horribly. You can’t imagine what a relief it was to talk to someone that knew where I was and wouldn’t judge me.