By: AmyClaire Brusch, Vice President
Each May members of the law enforcement community from across the country travel to Washington, D.C. to mark National Police Week. One highlight of the week for those making the trip from the New England region is the reception hosted by the Friends of New England’s Finest (FONEF) and chaired by O’Neill and Associates CEO Thomas P. O’Neill III. FONEF began hosting the reception in 2013 to thank the officers who had so bravely protected our loved ones during the Patriot’s Day bombing and horrible aftermath. Now an annual event, we take the time to honor the fallen as well as thank the men and women who continue to serve in these trying times. Every year the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund adds the names of heroes to its memorial and holds a candlelight vigil to honor those men and women. You can find out about every officer on the memorial at nleomf.org.
The New England Officers honored this year are:
Trooper Thomas L. Clardy, MA
Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. MA
Officer Ryan J. Bourque, RI
New England Natives
Officer Ashley Marie Guindon, VA
Deputy Sheriff John Robert Kotfila, FL
Officer Michael Leslie Krol, TX
Additional Previous Line of Duty Deaths added to the Memorial in 2017
Sergeant Charles Bradley, MA
Sergeant Richard Dever, MA
Patrolman William Furdon, MA
Lieutenant Rene Goupil, ME
Patrol Officer Edward Landers, MA
Patrolman Louis Phipps, MA
Officer Joseph Ribeiro, MA
Patrolman Benjamin Voss, MA
Inspector Ralph Young, CT
FONEF and O’Neill and Associates are very grateful for the generosity of lead sponsor TransCOR Information Technologies. TransCOR has been a strong supporter of law enforcement for years and a sponsor since the first FONEF reception. We especially thank TransCOR President Tom Haywood, Bob Ducasse and the entire TransCOR team. FONEF also appreciates event co-sponsor Panasonic’s generosity and support for law enforcement as well as co-sponsor Bertucci’s for its support of this reception and several other law enforcement endeavors throughout the year.
FONEF is also deeply grateful to O’Neill and Associates CEO Thomas P. O’Neill III, honorary chairman of FONEF, for his leadership and support. The entire O’Neill team works hard to make this event a success every year.
The 2017 reception was the largest gathering yet with well over 300 officers from across New England, and for the second year in a row we enjoyed the talented Metro Richmond Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. The goal is to have the opportunity to thank every New England officer who makes the trip to DC for National Police Week. We look forward to seeing everyone again next May 13th at the FONEF reception. Of course we do not have to wait until National Police Week to thank a police officer for serving and protecting our communities.
About Friends of New England’s Finest
Friends of New England’s Finest is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in the District of Columbia, organized exclusively to honor New England law enforcement during National Police Week. Every year, law enforcement officers from around the country gather in Washington, DC to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, including many from New England. Previously, there was no gathering for the large contingent of New England transplants now living in Washington, DC to thank these officers. After the horrific events of the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent encounters with the terrorists, there was a special desire for those transplants to thank the officers who protected their loved ones during that time. Friends of New England’s Finest organized the “Thank You For Protecting Our Loved Ones at Home” reception as an opportunity for New Englanders to gather in our nation’s capital to show our appreciation for the sacrifices of our law enforcement officials. For more information about Friends of New England’s Finest, visit our website at www.FONEF.org or connect with us on Facebook.