Baltimore City's Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #3, is the newest major donor to the National Law Enforcement Museum, pledging $100,000 to the project, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced.
Robert Cherry, the FOP lodge's president, and Gene Ryan, the vice president, made the commitment at the museum's ground-breaking gala on Oct. 14 in D.C.
Along with over 700 law enforcement officers and supporters gathered to celebrate at the black-tie gala, Cherry joined John Shanks, director of law enforcement relations for the Memorial Fund, at a reception to formally sign a pledge donating $100,000 to the museum's capital campaign, called "A Matter of Honor."
The Baltimore City FOP lodge's pledge marks the 47th law enforcement organization to donate $100,000 or more to the museum.
Martha Wood, surviving spouse of Baltimore PD's Officer Barry Wood, joined Cherry for the signing of the pledge. On Nov. 4, 1998, pilot Wood died in the line of duty when his police helicopter crashed during a stolen vehicle chase.
"I am so very proud of the Baltimore City FOP lodge," the officer's widow said. "I know that Barry would certainly approve of the support by the FOP; all FOP members should be proud to be a part of the museum."
Later that evening, Craig Floyd, the Memorial Fund's chairman and CEO, greeted Cherry and Ryan and shared his excitement for their commitment.
"The Baltimore City FOP has demonstrated great leadership and vision with this incredible show of support for the museum," Floyd said. "We could not be more honored to have the Baltimore City FOP as a museum partner."
The Baltimore City FOP becomes the tenth FOP lodge to donate $100,000 or more to the museum and the 80th lodge to donate to the campaign. "With this donation, 80 Fraternal Order of Police lodges nationwide have collectively donated over $1.24 million," Shanks said. "We could not be more proud of the leadership and support shown by FOP lodges throughout the country; this is incredible."
Joining Baltimore City FOP at the ground-breaking ceremony and gala were representatives from other FOP lodges that have also donated $100,000 or more to the museum. These included James Preston, Florida State FOP lodge; Brian Soller, Arizona State FOP lodge; and Nelson Cuba, Jacksonville, Fla., FOP lodge.
Authorized by Congress, the planned National Law Enforcement Museum will be a 55,000-square-foot, mostly underground museum located across the street from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C.'s Judiciary Square. The memorial contains the names of 18,983 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.
The privately funded museum has launched an $80 million capital campaign, with over $41 million raised to date, with strong support from the law enforcement community. The museum is scheduled to open in late 2013.