The month of May for Law Enforcement Officers all across our nation is a month dedicated to honor, remembrance, and brotherhood. All month long ceremonies are centered around Police Week and all of our Law Enforcement Officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.
Tens of thousands of Law Enforcement Officers, survivors and citizens travel to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. every year to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty.
This year, over half of the Back The Blue NC staff was able to attend Police Week in D.C. to honor not only those heroes we have lost in North Carolina and be with the surviving families, but to honor the life and sacrifice of every Officer added to the memorial from 2021. Each year, hundreds of names of officers killed in the line of duty are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These names are then read aloud during the annual Candlelight Vigil to memorialize those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Included in those names are some of the Officers we lost here in NC in 2021:
-Sgt. Chris Ward - Watauga County Sheriff’s Office EOW 04/28/21 -K9 Deputy Logan Fox - Watauga County Sheriff’s Office 04/28/21 -Officer Ryan Hayworth - Knightdale Police Department EOW 10/17/21 -Officer Mia Goodwin - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department EOW 12/22/21
Each year, hundreds of names of officers killed in the line of duty are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These names are then read aloud during the annual Candlelight Vigil to memorialize those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Members of Back The Blue NC, Inc. visited the National Law Enforcement Memorial where it is tradition to do a rubbing of names you recognize as a keepsake.
National Correctional Officer's Week was also recognized this month between May 1st and May 7th. Thank you to our correction officers, the heroes behind the walls! We recognize and appreciate your service and sacrifice.
On May 6th, our Charlotte Co-Chair Melissa DeLong was invited to attend the bridge naming ceremony in honor of Concord PD Officer Jason Shuping (EOW 12/16/2020). The I-85 and Bruton Smith Blvd bridge in Concord, NC was renamed the Officer Jason N. Shuping Memorial Bridge. Our Co-Chair Melissa writes, "Today was a beautiful day to honor the lives of Concord PD’s fallen officers. As well as be a part of the renaming Bruton Smith Blvd to Officer Jason N. Shuping Memorial Bridge. Every time you pass by the bridge, think about him and his sacrifice as well as officers all over NC and the world who have made the ultimate sacrifice!"
The “Officer Jason Shuping Memorial Bridge” is the very first state-owned bridge in North Carolina to be named in memory of a local municipal police officer lost in the line of duty.
In Washington D.C. during Police Week, Ofc. Jason Shuping (Concord PD) was awarded posthumously the Medal of Valor for exhibiting exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm. Receiving the Medal on his behalf is his wife, Haylee Shuping.
Police Officer Jason Shuping was shot and killed while responding to an attempted carjacking at a fast-food restaurant. A North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agent had encountered an abandoned vehicle at the scene of a single-car crash on the I-85 exit ramp to Bruton Smith Boulevard. As the agent and a Concord police officer were at the crash scene, a woman approached and told them a man had just attempted to carjack her at a nearby Sonic restaurant. The ALE agent, Officer Shuping, and another officer responded to the restaurant where they encountered the suspect.
As they approached the man outside of the building, he produced a gun and opened fire, fatally wounding Officer Shuping and wounding the other Concord officer. Two additional responding officers engaged the suspect as he attempted to steal another car, and the man was killed in the second exchange of gunfire.
Wife of Fallen Officer Jason Shuping, Haylee Shuping, receives the Medal of Valor on his behalf.
On May 25th our Founder and CEO Lindsay LiCausi attended the bond reduction hearing for Dedrick Privette at the request of the Hayworth family. Privette is accused of killing Knightdale Police Officer Ryan Hayworth and severely injuring Officer Cody Hagler and a civilian motorist after striking a Knightdale Police vehicle while driving intoxicated.
Privett had requested from the judge, through his attorney, that his bail bond be reduced from $2 million to $500,000. After the State’s Attorney recited the facts of the case, the deep family and community impact of this crime, and the habitual criminal history of Privette the judge reviewed the facts before him and decided to deny bond reduction. This is just a small victory for the family involved but we feel as though justice was served that day.
In closing, we would like to recognize and thank NCSHP Trooper Thao for his quick use of judgment in preventing harm to innocent civilians! He swerved into the path of an intoxicated wrong-way driver, potentially saving the lives of others on I-40 in Wake County.
"His willingness to put himself in harm’s way is representative of the lifesaving work our members do each day," Colonel Freddy Johnson said. "Placing others before ourselves is not just a saying among the law enforcement profession, it’s a reality of what we do for the betterment of the communities we serve.”
We would also like to thank you, our members and supporters, for helping Back The Blue NC in carrying out its mission of "Giving back to those who are willing to give their all." To further assist, please consider joining our 10-33 Assistance Program which is a monthly donor service starting as low as $10.33/month, only 34 cents a day! By contributing you can help us support the children and families of Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of proceeds go to these surviving families.
For more details visit https://www.backthebluenc.org/1033