2019 Executive Board
I am the surviving widow of Capt. Scott Monier of the White Settlement Police Department. Scott and I were best friends, soul mates, and had planned on growing old together as many happy young couples do. Scott had graduated with Bachelors in Criminal Justice and quickly worked his way up to Captain. He was in an office position for the last three years of his life with supervision of technology, jail, dispatch, and records.
We had the perfect family, two beautiful healthy young girls 6 and 10 at the time, and lived on a little 10-acre farm with cows and horses. We even had the white picket fence. Scott was actively involved in the community and coached his daughter’s basketball teams.
On April 24, 2002 our lives were forever changed. Everyday Scott had gone to lunch with the Chief of Police. On this day, Secretaries day, he wanted to show appreciation by taking some of the office staff to lunch. As he was returning from lunch, a call was currently in progress with a man, with a gun. A supervisor was needed on the scene. The current Captain on patrol was unreachable and Scott, without hesitation rushed in to assist. Our world was turned upside down that day. I made a promise to him that I would make sure that our girls turned out “OK”. The most important thing in the world to Scott was his family.
This is where I found out about Concerns of Police Survivors. I had a desire to connect with other families who could help me understand how to “survive” what seemed impossible. Less than three months after our loss, we attended our first Hands on Program called C.O.P.S. kids camp in July of 2002. Almost immediately, this experience gave my girls, and myself, a place where we felt, “normal.” We immediately made friends with families from all over the United States. They became more than friends after that, they became our family. From this point on, my children would count down the days until the next C.O.P.S. kids camp. I immediately went on to attend another Hands on Program, C.O.P.S. spouse’s retreat. My daughters as they grew older, attended Outward Bound, and Adult Children’s retreat. Both of the girls later volunteered at a local grief camp as mentors to help other children, survive the loss of a family member.
I feel that I owe a great deal of my children’s success in life to this organization. I could not have done it without C.O.P.S.. I am more than excited to share the great things that C.O.P.S. has done for my family. I want to give the next surviving family the hope that this organization gave me during a time when I needed “hope” so much.
Kim Ellis, Surviving Adult Child
My perfect childhood as I knew it came to an end the day my dad suited up for work. At 1:30 am on November 4, 1990, Dallas Police Officer Sunny Ma Lov was struck and killed by a man driving a stolen vehicle. The driver of the stolen vehicle drove through a line of road flares and struck my dad, who was thrown 119 feet into the opposite lanes of traffic. He died at the scene. I lost my hero that day. I will never know how it feels to be “Daddy’s Little Girl.”
My dad was an American patriot and loved this country as his own. After surviving the killing fields of Cambodia, he came to the U.S. to live the “American Dream.” He worked hard for his family and loved them even harder. Our patriarch was gone and for a moment in time, we were lost. Growing up without a father was difficult. No one understood my pain until I met other survivors through COPS. My healing journey took place 4.5 years ago when I married a Fort Worth Police Officer. My fear of becoming a widow like my mom was on the other side of every goodbye kiss. My husband Mitchell encouraged me to reach out to Karen Freeto-Rutherford, surviving spouse of Officer Dwayne Freeto. He knew I needed something more to handle life and he was right. Karen encouraged me to go to a hands-on retreat where I got to talk about my trauma and grief. That trip changed my life and marriage. I have found hope in moments of despair and friendships in moments of loneliness.
Fast forward to today, I have found peace and joy I have not known before my savior Jesus Christ. The Adult Children’s Retreat and National Police Week have contributed to my healing. I have found laughter and understanding through COPS and will be here for anyone who needs just that. I am here to pay it forward and encourage other survivors! I am so honored to serve my blue family.
Officer Sunny Ma Lov
Dallas Police Department
On the afternoon of November,
29th, 2005 my life and my kids life changed forever. My husband, Fort Worth Police Officer, Henry “Hank” Nava, Jr was serving a parole violation warrant with other members of the CRT team and when they entered the mobile home and split up to search for the suspect my husband was shot in the head.
When one of Hank’s partners got to me she told me there was an accident. She would never tell me how bad and I just assumed it was no big deal until we made it to the hospital and there were tons of police cars already there. When they took me to see Hank I honesty knew in my heart he was already gone. It wasn’t until I removed life support on December 1st that he quickly passed away from our life into his eternal life. That would be the hardest decision I ever had to make and at the young age of 33 I would be come a widow.
We went to National Police Week in May of 2006 and I was pretty much in denial that the kids and I needed anymore help then what we were already receiving locally. Therefore, I skipped all the COPS stuff and instead spent most of the week site seeing. Fast forward to sometime in the summer when another Widow from Texas called me and said I should go to this weekend called spouses retreat put on by COPS. She told me all about it and I said if I can get my Dad to watch the kids I would go. Well, of course my Dad said yes. So, September 2006 would be my first retreat with COPS. The weekend was amazing and it was this weekend that I realized there were so many women just like me. I could cry or I could laugh and there was never any judgement.
COPS has been a blessing to my life and I love that there is an organization that goes above and beyond for their survivors. I love that I get to share my experience with COPS and what it has done and continues to do in my life.
Unfortunately, we live in an age where there will be more survivors to come and I want to continue to be a source of encouragement for them to attend COPS Hands on Programs.
Deroy Bennett, Surviving Adult Child
As a 9-year-old boy my life was forever changed. I was an only child to Joyce and James “Pancho” Bennett, EOW April 3, 1980. The last memory I have of my father was him saying “I love you” early that morning as he left for his patrol day. Just hours later, I heard my mother scream begging me to come in the house. I will never forget what she said to me: “Your dad is dead.”
The last 36 years have been a blur full of up’s and down’s but the strength and courage of my father has been my Light. Following in his footsteps, I began a public safety career beginning as a volunteer fireman in high school, which led to EMT and Paramedic licenses. In 1991, my mother was faced with yet a second fear when I told her I would become a Police Officer. I would later wear a badge and gun and walk into the Decatur Police Department—the very same Department where my father served. I looked at my father’s picture on the wall every day.
I currently serve as Fire Marshal in the same city. In 2016, I was given the opportunity to attend National Police Week for the first time with my Mother by my side but we were not alone. The Decatur Police Chief who worked with my father and all the Blue Family I had never met joined us. Thanks to the Metroplex C.O.P.S., board I met other Surviving Adult
Children and was introduced to the Adult Children’s retreat. I am so blessed that I was able to attend this year and plan to never miss again. It was the events this year that sparked a desire to help survivors and mentor children who will be faced with the same challenges and heartache as I was.
It’s an honor and privilege to serve and work beside three of the best board members and a huge, wonderful BLUE Family!
Officer James Bennett
Decatur Police Department
Immediate Past President
Ashlee Hardy-Byers, Surviving Spouse 2007
On July 7, 2007 my world was forever changed. My husband, Wes Hardy, was killed in an accident while pursuing a speeding vehicle. I’d had no idea that that particular morning would be the last time we’d kiss, hug or say, “I love you.” In that singular moment, I lost my husband, my best friend, my soul mate and my girls had lost their Daddy. I was lost, and I didn't know where to turn or how to move forward. For years I felt stuck in a fog. Then in 2010, another spouse survivor reached out to me and suggested that I attend a Spouse’s Retreat through C.O.P.S. I was looking forward to a break from reality, but I wasn't particularly looking forward to reliving that horrible day with a room full of people I didn’t know.
It has been five years since Wes was killed. I am so incredibly grateful that my dear friend, Teresa Nava-Salazar, talked me into going to the Spouse’s Retreat—I haven't missed a year since. Words cannot express what C.O.P.S. has done for myself and my girls. We have also attended Kids Camp the last five years. Cora and Caitlyn look forward to it every year. It is the one week out of the year where they feel normal and they get to be kids!
I am excited to start a chapter in my life where I get to serve and help others like me. I hate that I won't be the last survivor to walk through our doors, but I know that Concerns of Police Survivors will be there for them as they have been for me. This organization has done great things for my family and I want to make sure that when a new survivor comes to us we are prepared and ready to help them to heal and rebuild their lives.
Officer Dayle Weston Hardy
Plano Police Department
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