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Big push underway for final state Law Enforcement memorial donations

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: June 6, 2018

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor with excerpts from Lansing State Journal

The finish line is in sight for the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument (MLEOM) to raise the needed funds to begin construction, but so is the end of a state matching grant which makes it possible. The MLEOM Commission needs your help to raise $320,000 by this fall to finalize fundraising and begin construction of the long-awaited Lansing monument.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, at least 47 Michigan Police law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty since the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (MLEOMF) began seeking donations for a monument in 2005. The monument will honor Michigan Law Enforcement Officers who died in the line of duty.

The big push to raise remaining funds is underway because the state legislature-approved matching grant is set to expire Oct. 1, 2018. That grant provides a 2-to-1 match up to $2 million total for funds donated.

If the Memorial Fund receives another $320,000 in donations by the deadline, combined with a 2017 $100,000 pledge from Delta Dental and the state’s match, that would bring the Commission to their $1.85 million fundraising goal, said MLEOM Commission Vice Chairperson Lin Emmert.

“All it’s lacking is somebody to get behind it and push it,” said Larry Julian, a former Michigan State Police Trooper in the State Journal article. Julian, a state representative, sponsored the 2004 bill creating the commission.” All of our Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders deserve it. I think there are people who will donate to it. I don’t think they know about it.”

John Szczubelek, who represents the Attorney General’s Office on the commission, said momentum should help them achieve their goal. Donors like to give when they “feel like their pebble is going to be one of the last dropped into the vase to put us over the mark,” he said in the State Journal article.

The MLEOMF had a more difficult start than some other state monuments because it didn’t receive any seed funding from the legislature. The commission waited a decade before the legislature approved the matching grant in 2014. “We’ve spent a lot of money on professional fundraisers, and the return on that has not been what we’ve hoped,” Szczubelek said in the article. He said the commission is competing with other law enforcement nonprofits and charities for funds.

The future Michigan law enforcement monument site was dedicated in 2006. Fundraising has been up and down over the years, but with the $100,000 pledge from Delta Dental, 2017 was a record fundraising year for the effort. The MLEOMF is hoping 2018 is even more successful with the matching grant for donations, which are tax deductible.

Commissioners hope to break ground in 2019, Szczubelek said.

Click here to donate to the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial by credit card or call (517) 241-4083. Checks or money orders can be sent to Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Financial Services, Cashiering Unit, Law Enforcement Memorial, P.O. Box 30681 Lansing, Mich. 48909-8181.

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