Thank you very much for being a vital part of the Brotherhood For The Fallen Suffolk County Chapter. We greatly appreciate your participation. Please be mindful that we are all volunteers: working towards a common goal of respectfully representing our local Suffolk County Police Departments throughout the country.
Please understand that this is a voluntary organization and that traveling is conducted on your own time. Currently, the SOA and SDA each have a bank of days that can be utilized for reimbursement of days expended for deployments for their members. (See article on this page with details.)
How we pick who travels: We send out an email blast and a text blast at the same time (whenever possible) to members who provide this information. We just unveiled a new text message system. The first reply has first opportunity to go and can pick a travel partner. However, if they have traveled before they are passed for the next member who has not yet traveled. If no new volunteers reply, we pick from who has gone the least out of previous travelers who can then pick their partner. We appreciate everyone's interest and want to afford as many members as possible the ability to represent us on these very important deployments.
Thanks for your understanding.
Our travel secretaries Neil Stringer and Chris Erickson have a tough job in which they volunteer their own time to arrange flights, hotels, rentals cars, liaison with local law enforcement, etc. So, at times while your travel arrangements may not seem like something you'd have chosen, there are a lot of moving parts they consider when booking everything. They attempt to arrange lodging closer to the funeral venue to help insure our members are on time for the service and are also within a reasonable distance to attend post service fellowships. In the event male and female members are traveling for a LOD, each will be afforded a separate hotel room. When this occurs, we will more than likely try to send a four-member delegation to include an additional male and female member.
We understand that the travel situation may be difficult at times with driving involved as well as flying, but remember why we are volunteering to do this. It is not leisure travel. Remember attendance at each service should be in full dress uniform to include eight point cap. Please do not wear sunglasses in formation.
If you agree to travel please make every effort to make your flight and attend as many related functions as possible. We understand that unforeseen things arise at the last minute but there is a lot of work by Chris and Neil making these arrangements and when someone backs out it requires a lot of behind the scenes work to remedy the travel arrangements. Furthermore, the organization is providing the reservation information and contact information for local liaisons, but the responsibility of on time departures, arrivals, meeting locations, is on the traveling members. Remember we are doing this to pay respect to the officer who was killed doing the job each of us do and to show that officer's family the support of the national law enforcement community.
The organization will cover the costs of flights, rental cars, fuel, tolls, and lodging. However, meals and drinks are on the individual member. If this is a concern, often times lodging venues provide one complimentary meal each day and many of the local law enforcement agencies provide complimentary meals and drinks at fellowships. Do not change reservation names to give yourself points or rewards.
Under US House Resolution 218, law enforcement officers are authorized to carry their firearms anywhere in the United States. Firearms can be taken on flights via checked baggage. Suffolk County Police R&Ps restrict the carrying of your primary duty weapon outside of the State of New York unless on official business. We have been given permission to carry our duty weapons for official BFTF deployments. Be mindful of your own agency R & P's on this issue. Check the following link for protocols regarding checked baggage weapons:
Please read the BFTF Travel Rules and Guidlines on this page for more information.
There have been questions as to why we don't just send a check to the families and why we pay to send members at all. Primarily, we send uniformed members as a sign of respect and solidarity across the national law enforcement community. It's one of the reasons why these five chapters: Chicago, IL; NYPD, NY; Aurora, CO; Fort Worth, TX; and Suffolk County, NY were formed in the first place. When tens of thousands of cops from all across the United States stand together in one mass formation to pay their respects to a fallen colleague, the message sent to the family of the fallen, as well as the American public, is unparalleled. It shows the world, and each other, that we care and we are willing to sacrifice some time and inconvenience to stand in formation for one of us who was murdered in the performance of his or her duties. In addition to this symbolism, one of the prerequisites to being a national chapter of the Brotherhood for the Fallen is that members attend funerals in their dress uniforms