Law enforcement has a strong bond that runs throughout its members, stretching to their family.
It is this unofficial fraternity among members and families that sparked the creation of the Northwest Louisiana Law Enforcement Wives United.
Kristen Kennedy, president and founder of Northwest Louisiana Law Enforcement Wives United, formed the group in September 2015. It was right after Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley was killed. She wanted a group for wives to come together and support each other, financially or emotionally, when times get tough.
“We initially started this group with the overall objective to be there for each other when our husbands are working the streets, but then noticed the need for so many other things,” she said.
As the wife of a Bossier City Police Officer, Kennedy has witnessed firsthand how the nonprofit organization has benefited the lives of our law enforcement community.
“It made the decision to form this group very easy,” she said. “It has enlightened me to the need for assistance should a law enforcement officer’s family be stricken with an undeserving and unexpected situation.”
The group currently has 75 registered members and a large following on Facebook. Kennedy said the only requirement to join is you must be married to an active duty or retired law enforcement officer.
The group is involved in several community outreach projects. They have gathered donated clothes and furniture to create A Cop’s Closet, which has been used to replace items lost in house fires.
They’ve sent resources to the Baton Rouge area to assist during the historic 2016 flood and money to aid the families of the officers killed in south Louisiana last year.
In May of 2017, they will be awarding their first annual scholarship to a senior student of a local current or retired law enforcement officer to continue their education.
Kennedy said all of these things are what she had intended this group to do. Her hope is that it will continue to grow and their outreach will continue to touch lives around the state.
“My dream since the very beginning was to get it going and to watch it thrive. Everything that it’s doing now,” Kennedy said. “It’s been a long road. We haven’t registered as a 501c3 because of the money it costs to get that. The more wives we can get involved and keep this going.”
She continued: “I want it to keep growing and growing. It’s done that over the past year and I hope it continues to grow in the future.”