Out-Front

Blue Lives Matter New York
By Debra Ann Faretra, M.A.

Blue Lives Matter NYC, is a non- profit and culturally diverse organization comprised of police officers. Founder and President, New York City Police Sgt. Joe Imperatrice comes from a long family line of police officers and is devoted to helping others in the profession.

He shared with me some of his thoughts and inspirations that began when NYPD Det. Russel Timoshenko was killed in the line of duty. NYPD Officers Carlos Delgado and Chris Brinkley are cofounders who work collectively to meet the goals of this amazing organization. Blue Lives Matter NYC was founded to make a positive impact in exchange for all the negative press in regards to policing.

Blue Lives Matter NYC focuses on benefitting law enforcement and their families when police officers across the United States are killed in the line of duty. They make donations to assist the families in need and to cover funeral expenses of fallen officers.

Each time an officer is killed they donate $1,220.14 to honor the date of fallen NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Lieu, who were killed in the LOD on 12/20/14. In addition, Blue Lives Matter NYC holds fundraisers, galas, sporting events, motorcycle runs, and comedy shows to raise money for the organization aside from the donations made on their website and online store, www.bluelivesmatternyc.org.

Imperatrice and I discussed very sensitive but important topics that are unfortunately, occurring in today’s society. NFL football players are currently engaging in protests on the field by kneeling down to show their contempt for our President, law enforcement, and alleged oppression toward blacks. Officers were killed in the line of duty as a result of racial tensions and Obama inciting hatred toward the police community which triggered this national dilemma between police and the general public.

We both agreed on the fact that many police officers, firefighters, and military members of all races also came from poverty stricken environments and made the moral decision to become contributing members of society. They also chose professions that at times cost them their lives. They unselfishly serve and equally protect all.

Over the course of time, each race in their own respective has overcome hardships. It has molded our culture and this nation that has taught us important life lessons that should never be lived out again.

The issue is that certain groups use the history lessons from many years ago to progress their personal agendas today, such as employment and voting opportunities and public assistance, to name a few.

These “benefits” don’t unite one another, but cause more bitterness and animosity.

If equality is what we really yearned to achieve, each individual would be on an even playing field and not be granted “special privileges.”

Law enforcement shootings are extremely disproportionate to black on black killings in the urban communities. Statistics show that most violent crimes are committed by black offenders victimizing other blacks. The outrage and kneeling should be protesting the violence in these communities where the police are summoned to enforce the law.

Police shootings are not up for debate with the general public. The people who serve on the jury under the justice process are the ultimate deciding factor that determines the guilt or innocence of a person and that’s where the judgment of our officers rests.

Imperatrice echoes the sentiments of many members in the law enforcement community that feel this is the most difficult and challenging era to be a cop. We must work and live in unity and accept responsibility for our actions across the board. He wishes to see more community involvement with impoverished neighborhoods and to offer children positive opportunities in life.

Blue Lives Matter NYC believes that by showing officers from within that people do care and appreciate what they do, that they can improve the morale. This in turn gives officers a sense of appreciation and happiness which resonates when they are in the streets interacting with the community. It gives a better product.

The more people working together to make a positive change is what leads to much improvement moving forward. It’s power in numbers!

Thank you all for your unselfish dedication in serving the public and keeping us safe! Stay well heroes!

Debra Ann Faretra, M.A. is a Mental Health Public Safety Instructor offering in service training for police and fire. She is also the Principal Mental Health and Wellness Educational Consultant for Forensi Consulting, LLC in Essex County, New Jersey. She is educated in psychology, counseling, and police studies.

Blue Lives Matter NYC is not affiliated with Blue Lives Matter