Police community turns to family association for support during tense times

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(KPLR) The recent string of violence against officers has local police on guard and their families on edge. For many of them, a special network helps them stay strong.

The St. Louis County Police Family Association provides support to current and retired police staff and their families.

“We’ll tell them, we’re here for you. Whatever you need, if you just want to talk, we’re here for you,” Association President Jane Lottmann said.

The deadly shootings against law enforcement officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and more recently, Kansas City, Kansas, have put families on edge, Rachel Minor said. Minor is a civilian employee with the department’s Affton / Southwest Precinct.

“The last two weeks have been extremely rough on the police community as a whole,” she said.

“Wives that tell me that they’re crying as they send their officers to work. Parents saying they’re scared to send their sons and their daughters. It’s rough. It’s very rough.”

Minor said she and her husband rarely saw each other during the height of the event in Ferguson.

“It’s rough. It’s rough on a family,” she said.

The mission of statement of the Family Association addresses those issues: “to help alleviate strain, and help celebrate families.”

“It really did help to talk to people who were going through the same thing that our family was,” Sue Middendorf said. Middendorf is the secretary of the association and the mother of a St. Louis County police officer.

That service plays a key role with loved ones who have never served in law enforcement.

“If they’re not in the field, they don’t understand what they’re going through,” Lottmann said.

“So to have someone else within the department that knows what is happening, what they’re going through, is a tremendous help.”

The association was created in 2011.