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Event offers a look ‘Behind the Badge’

Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:20 PM

The true-life crime saga continues.

The follow-up documentary to last year’s “Heroes Behind the Badge” film premiered Friday night at The Journey Church in Lebanon.

“Heroes Behind the Badge: Sacrifice & Survival” made it’s way to the area after its release in December and previous screening dates in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other stops across the nation. It was again brought to Lebanon thanks to local law enforcement agencies teaming up to raise money and awareness.

The film featured harrowing real-life stories of officers all over the country who were caught in the line of duty and survived and fought their way back and some who made the ultimate sacrifice and are gone but not forgotten. British Academy Award-winning filmmaker Wayne Derrick directed the film.

The film is in part to raise awareness for the unsung law enforcement heroes and also to help raise money for fallen law enforcement officers and their families.

Part of the proceeds from the film’s screenings and purchases of the film is set to go to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund. The remaining proceeds will go to Middle and East Tennessee Concerns of Police Survivors, or METN COPS, which helps families of fallen officers with services such as counseling, summer camps, financial support and more.

The local COPS charter works to help families of fallen officers in Middle and East Tennessee and even takes members to the memorial in Washington D.C. each May to recognize fallen officers during National Police Week.

This year law enforcement officials from all over, including the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the Mt. Juliet Police Department, the Lebanon Police Department and the LaVergne Police Department came out to support the cause.

The event also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Lodge 71 of the Wilson County Fraternal Order of Police.

Doors to the event opened at 5:30 p.m. before the 7 p.m. film screening and offered law enforcement displays outside for visitors to see some of the equipment that police is armed with.

A silent auction also took place throughout the evening before the film. Items up for silent auction included numerous gun accessories, autographed memorabilia, iPad covers, salon products and much more.

Refreshments such as drinks, cake and pizza were also served.

Producer Bill Erfurth spoke to the crowd before the screening and explained how the idea for the movie came about after several of his friends serving in the Miami Dade Police Department with him were killed in the line of duty.

“It’s something that never leaves you and it’s something you always remember,” Erfurth said. 

Last year’s film was screened in more than 120 cities across the country, Erfurth said.

Erfurth said this year’s film, as well as last years, has been seen as an “eye-opener” for law enforcement officials and everyday citizens watching. 

“The most rewarding part of all has been that I’ve had four different officers in different regions tell me that if they didn’t see the movie they wouldn’t be here today,” Erfurth said. “I can’t tell you how rewarding that is that this is something that saved or changed a life.”

For more information on the film, visit heroesbehindthebadge.com.

For more photos from the event, click here

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