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April 21, 2024 25 mins
Paige Krueger from PAWS Chicago is on to discuss their upcoming Animal Magnetism Fundraiser event. Bill Alexander joins the show to discuss the upcoming 36th annual candlelight vigil for fallen law enforcement officers, along with information on the organization’s memorial and museum in Washington D.C., and its work on safety and wellness for members of law enforcement nationwide.
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(00:00):
Welcome to the weekly show on iHeartRadioon every weekend on ninety three point nine
Light FM, Rock ninety five tofive and one oh three five Kiss FM
every weekend. This show is givingout information for our community in the city
and suburbs on various topics from finances, to healthcare, education and more.

(00:21):
And of course we love to spotlightlocal charities and nonprofits that are doing things
to better our city and suburbs.Of course, if you're part of a
local charity and you'd think you deserveto be here on the show, we'd
love to chat with you. Youcan email me directly and we'll see if
we can set something up. It'sMick Lee at iHeartMedia dot com. Today
on the show, we have BillAlexander, CEO of the National Law Enforcement

(00:45):
Officers Memorial Fund. Bill will joinus to discuss the upcoming thirty six annual
Candlelight visial for fallen law enforcement officers, as well as other things that the
memorial organization is doing. We aregoing to kick off the show though,
for first with Brady, who's backhere with our friends from Pause and an
upcoming event that they have. Hey, Brady, it is time to talk

(01:07):
about everybody's favorite topic. Are furryfour legged friends in here to discuss an
amazing event and everything going on inthe world of Pause is Pause Animal Magnetism
co chair Pages here, Hello,Page, Hi, thank you so much
for having me. Oh, wealways welcome our friends from Pause. We

(01:29):
have a lot to discuss. Firstof all, before we get into the
animal Magnetism event, I want toknow if you want to talk about what's
going on with Pause and their animalcrisis fund that is currently going on right
now. Yes, of course,right now, Pause is raising funds because
we are seeing a big increase inthe number of animals that are coming through

(01:49):
Chicago Animal Care and Control also knownas CACC, and Pause wants to help
as much as they can with thepet over population problem, and in order
to do that, we need toraise funds so we can take more animals
in. So right now we havea couple of programs going on to raise
those funds, and of course wecan't do that without adopting, fostering,
volunteering, or donating to Pause.And that's why Animal Magnetism is coming at

(02:15):
such a great time right now toraise those funds to make sure we can
keep saving thousands of lives each year. Beautiful, and I probably should have
asked this first for anybody that maybehas been sleeping under a rock for the
last fifteen years and doesn't know whatpause does. Can you just kind of
give us, like, you know, a rundown of who you guys are

(02:35):
and what you provide. Of course, so PASE Chicago is one of the
largest no kill animal welfare organizations inthe country. We've provided over three hundred
thousand low and no cost bandooter surgeries, and we have about five thousand adoptions
each year. So there is alwaysplenty happening at PASE Chicago, and we

(02:55):
always say that everyone in Chicago knowssomebody with a Pause. Pat Yeah,
you're talking to one right here,this guy, I love it. Proud
cat Dad, shout out Penny andJude. So now let's get into this
amazing night Friday, April twenty six, coming right up, Pause Animal Magnetism.

(03:15):
I will be there. I cannotwait. Tell us all about this
event and how people can get involved. Of course, we're so excited.
It is next Friday at Morgan Manufacturingin the West Loop. This is a
sensational dog friendly event where your caninecompanion can enjoy all the festivities with you.
You can take photos in the Paparotistation, you can post for portraits

(03:38):
with a pet artist. We havelocal restaurants on site serving food. This
includes Fourmenttos, Roots, Pizza,Hubbard in Bombay Eats and a couple of
others. And the human guests cansip on cocktail. So it is a
great event you don't want to miss. And we even have a handful of
general mission tickets still available, soif you are able to and you don't

(04:00):
have a ticket yet, make sureyou go on our website and get those
before we sell out. Yes,you need to get these tickets. And
what's beautiful about Animal Magnetism. It'ssuch a fun night and like you said,
it's pet friendly. It's also anamazing next day because then you see
everybody posting pictures from the night.Because these animals come, some of them
come like dressed to the nines.I know our very own Peaky from the

(04:23):
Fred Show brought her dog last year. Adorable, right. I always joke
that some of the dogs are betterdressed than I am. People go all
out for their dogs, but youalso don't need to be present at the
event to support. We have araffle that is live now. We have
some great prizes for that. There'sa pair of four day passes to Windy

(04:44):
City Smokeout. We're giving away aDyson Supersonic care dryer, and then also
as stay in Colorado for up tothirteen people as part of our raffle.
And then our Silent Option launches onlinetomorrow, Friday, April nineteenth, and
will be live online through ten pmthe night of the event. That yeah,
that's great. That's a great point. Like maybe you're out of town
or you can't make it that inyou're out of the plans, definitely hit

(05:08):
up the Silent Auction on their website. Some really really cool stuff and you
know all the proceeds that it's goingto help Pause Chicago continue your amazing work
saving and caring for thousands of homelesspets each year. So let's wrap it
up. Let's give them the website. They got to get this ticket because
there's only a couple left page.It's true. You can go to pas

(05:28):
Chicago dot org slash Animal Magnetism.You'll find the tickets are Silent Auction links
starting tomorrow and the raffle right therepage always a pleasure. We will see
you on Friday night. Can't waitperfect. Thank you so much for you
Friday. Thanks Brady, And thisis the weekly show on iHeartRadio. More
coming up next, adopt Us KidsPresents What do you expect when you expecting

(05:49):
a teenager? Learning the lingo goatGA t acronym stands for greatest of all
time, as in spaghetti sandwiches fordinner. They're my faith. Dad,
You're the goat. You don't haveto speak teen to be a perfect parent.
Thousands of teens in foster care willlove you dress the same. Visit

(06:09):
adopt uskids dot org. Brought toyou by the US Department of Health and
Human Services adopt Us Kids in thead Council. Do you need help finding
health insurance? Cook County Health expertscan help you find health coverage that you
may be eligible for. Cook CountyHealth believes everyone deserves high quality care close
to home and is convenient community healthcenters throughout Chicago and suburban Cook County.

(06:30):
Called three one two eight six fourtwo two two four for help. You
may be eligible for discounted or freehealthcare from Cook County Health. That's three
one two eight six four two twotwo four, Cook County Health and iHeartMedia
Chicago celebrating twenty years of living andbuilding Chicago together. Uh oh, Brad's
buzzed. Oh yeah, yeah,he's starting with the woots and now a

(06:56):
speech. I just want to saythat friendship is about art, art and
brain. Who's with me? Goodthing is he knows when he's buzzed,
and my brain is saying, whenit's time to go home, Somebody call
me a ride. Love that guy, me too. Know your buzzed warning
signs, call for a ride whenit's time to go home. Buzz driving
is drunk driving. A message FORMITZAand the AD Council. Welcome back to

(07:19):
the weekly show on iHeartRadio. It'sninety three point nine Light FM, one
oh three five Kiss FM and Rockninety five to five. I'm Mick Lee
and we're here spot letting great thingsthat you need to know and also talking
about local charities and national charities andnonprofits that are doing better things for our
city, suburbs and country. Upnext, Ryan Gorman is here with Bill

(07:41):
Alexander, CEO of the National LawEnforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Hey, Ryan,
let me bring in Bill Alexander,the CEO of the National Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial Fund. In a fewweeks, during National Police Week, fallen
law enforcement officers from across the countryare going to be honored during the thirty
sixth annual Candlelight Vigil in Washington,d C. You can learn more about

(08:05):
all of this at nl EOMF dotorg. Again, that's nl EOMF dot
org. Bill, thank you somuch for coming on the show. And
for those who aren't familiar with thework your organization does, can you give
us an overview? Ran First,thank you, thank you for taking a
few minutes of your time here tohelp tell the story of American law enforcement

(08:28):
and the men and women who diein the line of duty. So you're
absolutely correct. Police Week is veryfast approaching. It's generally surrounding the date
of May fifteenth, which is PeaceOfficers Memorial Day, and that is very
very symbolic for everyone who has beenand continues to be in the profession.
I myself retired two years ago fromlaw enforcement and I joined this very unique
in my mind, key organization startedin nineteen eighty four by an Act of

(08:52):
Congress which allowed for the collection ofmonies to ultimately design and then build what
is now the National Law Enforcement OfficersMemorial right here in the heart of DC.
Every single one of those dollars donatedby individuals and some degree corporate partners
from across the country. The memorialwas built and continues to exist entirely without

(09:13):
a single dollar of local, state, federal money. It has all been
donated by men and women from acrossthe country. And the memorial now stands
again in the heart of Washington,DC, and I think appropriately memorializes,
honors, remembers the men and womenin US law enforcement who have served in
that capacity and ultimately been injured andkilled as a result of that work.

(09:35):
And right now today we are inthe process of engraving an additional two hundred
and eighty two names, and oncethat is complete tomorrow, we will then
have more than twenty four thousand names, the names of heroes, every single
one, but heroes who have diedin service of us, are of their
community, of our country, ourdemocracy. Now, as part of the

(09:56):
work you do, you cover threedifferent areas. You have the memorial,
you have a museum, and thenyou focus on officer safety and wellness.
Correct, that is absolutely correct.So the memorial is sort of the keystone
of our organization. It is theplace where we again honor the fall and
honor the men and women who havedied in the line of duty. We
also have right here in DC,right next to the memorial is a world

(10:18):
class museum where we try to tellthe story of American law enforcement. And
it's a place where visitors can comeand sort of metaphorically walk in the shoes
of a man or woman in uniform, and I might argue, really get
a sense of how powerful even asingle police officer can be. And of
course I would argue is in thecommunities that they're serving. And our third
and final pillars, what we referto as officer safety and wellness. It's

(10:41):
where we as an organization try toimpart take some of the data related to
those line of duty dusk that wehonor on the memorial that really does give
us a window into the how,where why men and women in uniform are
facing too often tragic and fatal outcomes, and then take that data and use
it in a way to craft,create, amend, perhaps edit or push

(11:01):
out best practices and programs from acrossthe country in an effort to make it
safer for the men and women whoare doing the job. We use the
phrase here to try to keep namesoff of the wall in reference to our
very sacred walls here. I wantto step through each of those for a
moment, and let's start with thememorial. What is the process like for
getting names added to that? Sure, so, every single year, of

(11:24):
course, tragically in the hundreds historically, there are men and women who die
in the line of duty, andthe agencies where those men and women work
basically submit to us a relatively indepth case packet which includes all of the
details that are known to the agencyin terms of how, where, why
the officer was working, and ultimatelya sustain and injury which led to their

(11:46):
death. And so we take allof that information, we packaged it together,
and then that information is presented towhat we internally refer to as the
Names Committee, made up of activeor retired police officers and a number of
our board members, and they vetevery single one of those cases to ensure
that it meets our very strict criteriato ensure that the person that we are

(12:07):
honoring was in fact employed by alaw enforcement agency, was in fact doing
law enforcement related work at the timethat they suffered that injury and subsequently died.
So, assuming the case makes itthrough the Names Committee and has ultimately
approved, then we add those namesto a continuing queue of names a waiting
to be placed on the memorial.And then every spring we begin the engraving

(12:30):
process, historically right in early ormid May to be added to again our
very sacred memorial walls. And weare in that process right now again,
adding two hundred and eighty two totalnames to what was twenty three seven hundred
and eighty five and will now numberover twenty four thousand. In your experience,
how meaningful is all of this tothe families and the friends and the

(12:52):
departments of those who have fallen,You know, it's it's really really difficult
to put into words, just howmeaningful to see that name etched and inscribed
on this granite stone? Is Imentioned before, I myself retired from law
enforcement about two years ago to takea role here. During my twenty five
years of service with the department justoutside of DC, we lost sixteen of

(13:16):
my peers, about twelve of whomI knew personally, to varying degrees.
So I often tell that story tovisitors who come here. And I don't
say it to make the story aboutme, but I do use it as
an example. I personally am notunique. Almost every single police officer I
know knows someone directly whose name ison our very sacred walls. So even

(13:37):
a single loss of life in thelaw enforcement profession, I would argue as
a spider web or a shattering effectacross the broad law enforcement community that is
really really difficult for people outside oflaw enforcement to really understand. And it's
not just the law enforcement community.I might also argue that even a single
death of a police officer, thatlife, that contribution that profession is something

(14:00):
more than say, a single threadin the fabric of the community in which
they live and serve, and topull away that one thread is causing much
more damage and much more heartache andmuch more grief than maybe a single thread
might otherwise represent. And you know, these walls here mean absolutely everything,
not just to the profession, notjust to the coworkers, but certainly to

(14:20):
the families. Almost every single dayI will see someone out looking at the
walls, looking for a specific name, looking for their family member, But
certainly during police week, when literallytens of thousands of people from across the
country and really around the world cometo stand here. You can see that
this is more than just stone andgrass and trees and statuary. There is

(14:43):
something about this place, about thisspace which allows, to some degree,
I think, some level of healing, some level of catharsis, but also
a feeling of redemption and not joy, but certainly recognizing the profession in which
these men and women dedicated their lives, and that they gave their lives in
service of something greater again their community, this country, and our democers.

(15:09):
I'm Ryan Gorman, joined now byBill Alexander, CEO of the National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. You canlearn more and support the work they do
at nl EOMF dot org. Youalso give out awards throughout the course of
the year. Tell us about that, sure, well, we have two
sets of awards. One is ourrecurring monthly Officer of the Month award,
where we try to highlight a storyabout law enforcement officers doing the right thing,

(15:35):
which so often they are doing.They are in fact out there serving
us, finding ways to make ourcommunity safer, oftentimes intervening with their own
lives to help make us in ourcommunity safe and we try to find those
stories and highlight them because unfortunately,far too often the media overlooks those stories,
and we try to not only celebratetheir heroic actions, but also celebrate

(15:58):
the times in which they have donething to I might say, humanize the
professional law enforcement profession, to showthat the men and women in uniform are
the same as everyone else, theyjust have a very unique job. So
we have Officers of the Month awardsthat we do again those monthly. We
also have three major tentpole awards presentedand ultimately awarded by our board, and

(16:18):
those are an annual Distinguished Service Award, some specifical to law enforcement, a
Lifetime Achievement Award again something specific tolaw enforcement, and an Excellence in Media
Award, again something specific to lawenforcement, where we try to find those
really exemplar stories across the nation,for people who have contributed in a meaningful

(16:40):
way to the profession or to lawenforcement generally, or perhaps to some segment
of our continuing conversation about law enforcementand interfacing with the communities which law enforcement
is serving. Finding some way tohonor those men and women who are moving
the profession forward. Now let's getto the museum. Tell us about what
people can expect you are there inperson, and also are there any options

(17:03):
available online for those who can makeit. Yeah, ironically, we actually
are working with Laika right now totry to They have done a three D
imaging of the interior the museum andwe're trying to figure out a way to
get that to be publicly accessible.But right now, of course, we
do have some sort of still photography, and there are a very few number
of videos, both on our YouTubepage and on our main web page,

(17:25):
which you've referenced already, but it'spretty difficult to really get a sense of
the inside of this. Really,I might argue world class museum. I
mean, it really does just anamazing job of telling that story of American
law enforcement across the broad stretch ofUS history over the last two hundred and
fifty years, And it really tellsthe story in a way which I think

(17:45):
many people in the country are completelyunaware. The stories that you see and
hear here you are really unlikely tosee or hear anywhere else. And there
are stories that really do exemplify thegood that law enforcement has done and is
doing. You know, I have. I am a very strong proponent of
the idea that law enforcement has beenand continues to be just an overwhelming force

(18:07):
for good for our country. Notthat men and women in uniform can't and
don't make mistakes, not that veryrarely, thankfully, men and women in
uniform occasionally commit criminal acts. Thereality is that the eight hundred thousand plus
men and women in uniform today areout there doing the right things for the
right reasons, and we try tofind and highlight those stories across the last
two hundred fifty years to really givepeople a sense of how law enforcement has

(18:32):
made our society and our country muchmuch better than it otherwise would have been.
And that is what they will findhere at the museum. I'm Ran
Gorman, joined by Bill Alexander,CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Fund. You can learn more atnl EOMF dot org. Finally, let's
get to Officer safety and Wellness.Tell us about that part of your program

(18:53):
well again. Officers are our officersafety and wellness pillars where we again try
to take some of that data relatedto the line of due deaths and we
try to create and push out programswhich we hope will make it safer for
the men and women who are outthere doing the job. A lot of
that focuses on the major tenthole areaswhere men and women do face tragic outcomes
and fatal outcomes out there on thestreets, and those are largely centered on

(19:15):
traffic related fatalities and firearms related fatalities. Those are sort of generic terms that
to some degree really pull you awayfrom the reality of being out there on
the streets. But you know,every single year, plus or minus,
fifty to seventy men and women areout on our roadways and they get struck
by a car and are killed.Also, equally, every single year,

(19:37):
fifty to seventy men and women areout there doing the jobs and they are
shot and killed. Of course,there's another word for that, that's murdered.
So many of our men and womenin uniform are out there trying to
protect the populace, and as they'redoing so, they are shot and killed,
and again I think that is murdered. The reality is, even though
we do report those numbers of deaths, which do average about fifty every single

(19:59):
year over the last ten years,that figure is really masking the true what
I might say, is the truedanger for the men and women doing the
job. Our friends and partners overat the Fraternal or Repolice just released their
annual report a couple months ago forthe end of twenty twenty three, and
almost four hundred police officers were shotand actually struck in twenty twenty three.
And when I say shot, Imean the suspect shot of them and then

(20:22):
the officer was struck. Now,of course, just over forty of those
ultimately died from those wounds, butstill that is a staggering number, and
it's the highest number that the FOPhas ever tracked since they began recording data,
and they have more than fifty yearsworth of data. So it really
does go to show how increasingly dangerousthe conditions are out on the street.
And I think the real reason thatwe don't have even higher numbers of deaths

(20:45):
is because of improving technology on theballistic resistant front. You know, products
made by companies like DuPont, Theseincreasingly light and more sustainable fabrics that have
the ability to have higher stopping powerfor what's coming in towards police officers.
And also there's just no question thatthe medical technology continues to advance, thankfully
in a good way. That Traumacarecontinues to advance, and it is in

(21:08):
fact saving the lives of many ofthese men and women who are shot and
struck. Another starting fact is isthat that figure of almost four hundred does
not account for the number of timesthat police officers are shot at but the
suspect or suspects miss, So itreally is. I think I could make
a very very strong case that theconditions out on the roads for the men

(21:30):
and women doing this very, verytough job are increasingly dangerous and to a
large degree masked by the number ofofficers who actually die by virtue of the
ones who are saved either through ballisticor technology or just improved traumacare. And
finally, with National Police Week justa few weeks away, and of course
your thirty sixth annual candlelight vigil inWashington, DC, can you describe what

(21:55):
everyone who attends can expect? Then? Well, first, anyone who is
here this I cannot encourage you enough. Please come to a candlelight vigil.
If you can't make it this year, then come next year. It is
every May thirteenth. It is opento the public. It is on the
National Mall right in the heart ofWashington, DC. Every single year we
have upwards of forty thousand people attend, and it is really really difficult to

(22:18):
put into the words the raw emotion, just the tangible feeling of grief,
sorrow again redemption to some degree,the celebration of our heroes. If you
have not been, please come.Our candidate vigil is the tenth pole event
of all of Police Week. It'sthe only major event that's opened to the

(22:40):
public. And to be standing inthe crowd where again you really can feel
that emotion, to hear each ofthe names read most recently added to our
memorial, to recognize the story behindeach of those names. Each of those
names is a father, son,a brother, a sister, a mother,
a father, and they were outthere doing their job, checked us

(23:00):
and they died as a result.To be in that crowd, in that
atmosphere, to really recognize the serviceand sacrifice of so many, it is
quite something to behold. It reallyis staggering. It's a special time and
a special place, and I cannotencourage everyone listening to this please go to
a Candilate vigil at least once inyour life. If not for yourself,

(23:23):
do it for the surviving family memberswho are there, and certainly could use
the encouragement of every single citizen ofthis great country to say thank you.
Thank you family members for allowing yourloved one to go out and serve us
and ultimately die in that service.Bill Alexander, CEO of the National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. You canlearn more and support the tremendously important work

(23:48):
they do at nl EOMF dot org. Bill, I want to thank you
so much for the work you're doingwith this organization and for your service to
this country serving in law enforcement.Really appreciate the time, Ran, Thank
you. I am so thankful thatthere are a few people in the media
like you who are willing and ableto help tell the story. It's so
appreciated, and law enforcement certainly appreciatesyour voice advocating for them and us.

(24:11):
Thank you so much. All right, thanks again, Bill, my pleasure
and thank you Ryan again. Thisis the weekly show on iHeartRadio on ninety
three point nine Light FM, Rockninety five to five and one oh three
five Kiss FM. We are onevery weekend giving you the information you may
need to better your life and makesure you're more informed from talking about education

(24:32):
to health, fitness, finances,politics, and more. And we also
love to spotlight local charities and nonprofits. If you are part of one and
think you deserve to be here onthe radio talking about the great things you're
doing to make our city and suburbsa better place to live, you can
email me directly. It's Mick Leeat iHeartMedia dot com. Thank you so

(24:53):
much for listening to the weekly show. We'll be back again next weekend right
here. In the meantime, besafe and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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