The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced today that Blue Force Gear www.blueforcegear.com is officially joining the Spirit of Blue Campaign as a Safety Grant Sponsor. Blue Force Gear is a designer and manufacturer of tactical equipment such as slings, pouches, plate carriers, packs, and other load-carrying systems. As agencies nationwide ready themselves to respond to more violent and dynamic events than in the past, demand for operational gear has grown rapidly.
“The Spirit of Blue Foundation captured our attention from the moment that we heard about their mission to support the Law Enforcement professionals who protect our communities. We have been looking for ways to help raise awareness about training and equipment needs of the Law Enforcement community and Spirit of Blue seems to be the perfect avenue to accomplish that goal,” said Ashley Burnsed, President of Blue Force Gear, Inc. “As Blue Force Gear has seen great success with its product among the ranks of the military, it is a natural extension for that same gear to find its way to the street with law enforcement.”
“SWAT, Tactical and Emergency Response teams are in ever increasing demand nationwide,” stated Ryan T. Smith, Vice Chairman of the Spirit of Blue Foundation. “For these teams to operate at their peak and stay safe in the process they need the right gear. More and more, patrol officers and deputies also need access to this same equipment as the risks they face grow. We are excited about the unique solutions that Blue Force Gear has created and that agencies will be able to use their Safety Grant funds to purchase this equipment.”
Five non-profit organizations actively supporting the law enforcement community have already teamed up with the Spirit of Blue Foundation for the 2011 holiday campaign that launched in October. Those organizations - The National Troopers Coalition, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Sheriff’s Association, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and the Jeffrey S. Parola Foundation – represent roughly 125,000 officers, deputies and agents nationwide. As partners they are promoting the sale of the Spirit of Blue’s blue ribbon holiday wreath honoring and benefitting the law enforcement community. Consumers who purchase the product during the Campaign will be allowed to select which non-profit they would like to see benefitted from the sale and the Foundation will donate a portion of the proceeds accordingly. At the same time, consumers will be asked to nominate a law enforcement agency that they would like to be considered to receive a Safety Grant award. At the end of the Campaign, the Spirit of Blue Safety Grant Program randomly selects nominated law enforcement agencies to receive a safety grant award. The safety grants will be redeemable exclusively through the consortium of Safety Grant Partners made up of law enforcement equipment brands such as Blue Force Gear.
Preliminary statistics through October 2011 released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in conjunction with Concerns of Police Survivors, revealed the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty rose 21% percent over the same period in 2010. Firearm-related deaths reached 53, an increase of 29% from the same period in 2010. The reality of these statistics and the increasing number of underfunded law enforcement agencies across the country fueled the safety grant initiative. The Spirit of Blue Foundation, along with Blue Force Gear, is asking consumers to ‘get in the Spirit of Blue’ this holiday season by purchasing the Spirit of Blue Wreath and giving back to the law enforcement community. The wreaths are available for purchase through December 19th and winners of safety grants will be announced in early February 2012. To learn more about the Spirit of Blue campaign, or to order a Spirit of Blue Wreath, visit www.spiritofblue.com.