A showing of the newest documentary follow-up to last year’s Heroes Behind the Badge will take place this Friday.
Through collaborative efforts of several local law enforcement agencies, Heroes Behind the Badge: Sacrifice & Survival is set to show at 7 p.m. at The Journey Church on Leeville Pike in Lebanon.
The documentary, which features real stories of brave officers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty, will help raise funds and awareness for fallen law enforcement officers and their families. Part of the proceeds will 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.
Trina Scott, president of METN COPS, became involved in the organization after losing her husband, Officer David Scott with the Clarksville Police Department, who was killed in June 2002.
“I became a member of COPS, unfortunately, but fortunately. Unfortunately because my husband had to die, but fortunately because it’s one of the nation’s largest peer support groups,” Scott said.
Scott said being able to meet other survivors who experienced the same thing as her and knew her loss was a huge help in her time of need.
With the money the local COPS chapter receives from the film’s proceeds, Scott said they would be able to help new survivors, along with returning survivors, through trips like visiting Washington, D.C., and the Fallen Officer Memorial each May for National Police Week.
She said this year the wife of a Knox County state trooper killed in the line of duty would be attending and taken care of thanks to METN COPS.
“The money also goes into a fund to help with our ‘hands-on programs,’” Scott said.
The hands-on programs serve as retreats and camps that survivors including children and parents attend throughout the year in destinations from ranging Wisconsin to Arkansas.
“The main purpose of COPS is to not let a survivor miss out on their healing by not having fun,” Scott said.
Bill Erfurth, a producer on both Hero Behind the Badge films, explained that the Heroes Behind the Badge filmmakers travel across the country and follow some significant survivors’ stories, as well as stories of those killed in the line of duty.
“We went to some of the most pristine and beautiful places in America and had these very thematic stories of officers injured and killed in some of the most beautiful places, and we also went to big cities to demonstrate that this can happen anywhere,” Erfurth said.
Erfurth said he wished to raise awareness to facts such as every 54 hours an officer is killed in the line of duty in America.
“We wanted to film to truly change perceptions and attitudes and be a wake up call,” Erfurth said. “Your average person that isn’t involved in law enforcement doesn’t realize this happens so frequently or realize the losses and sacrifices law enforcement officers make.”
Through the film, Erfurth said he hoped to spread to people a greater respect and appreciation for law enforcement. He said the previous film, and so far the current film, has been “enormously well received” within the general public and law enforcement community.
Erfurth, who served 26 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department, said he was inspired to do these films after two friends were shot and killed serving a warrant in 2011. He said that at the time the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Craig Floyd, was talking about doing a full-length feature on the subject.
“When they were killed I told him, ‘If we’re going to do it let’s do it now,’” Erfurth said.
After the support and widespread endorsement of the first film, Erfurth said they decided to take on the current second film.
Erfurth said there has been discussion on doing a third film or possibly making a series, but no immediate plans had come to fruition and they were looking for sponsors.
The films are in partnership with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and Erfurth said 50 percent of the proceeds go there.
For more information or to buy the film visit heroesbehindthebadge.com.