The San Diego Police Officer's Association Provides in Times of Need
San Diego Police Officier's Association is a Worthy Cause
"Officer down, officer down!” The San Diego Police Department received one of these dreaded, but inevitable, calls on December 15th, 2011 when Officer Don Meeks responded to a noise complaint in Pacific Beach.
Unfortunately for Officer Meeks, as with the majority of police officers, he did not know who or what he was about to face on the other side of the door. Officer Meeks almost died that night in a knockdown, drag–out brawl with a six foot three, 250 pound, intoxicated (with alcohol and drugs) mixed martial arts fighter.
The fight broke several bones in Meeks’ face, hand and arm. As time passed after the fight, Officer Meeks’ health began to deteriorate rapidly; he had short–term memory loss and suffered major headaches. The full extent of his traumatic brain injury would not be determined for several months. A neurologist would later explain to Don and his wife Teri that the trauma caused to Don’s brain was equivalent to 26 concussions in the fight for his life with the assailant, resulting in a severe brain injury that would ultimately end his law enforcement career.
Police officers are on the front lines of society’s greatest challenges and the San Diego Police Officer’s Association’s (SDPOA) Widows & Orphans Charity Fund is the only charity in San Diego that directly supports the sworn officers of the San Diego Police Department and their families in their greatest time of need.
The San Diego Police Officer’s Association Charity Fund offers both immediate and long–lasting support to those affected by tragedy. Since its establishment in 1912, the Charity Fund has assisted San Diego police officers and their families in many ways—from covering portions of funeral costs to providing health insurance for widows and children of a fallen hero or injured officers. The number of police officers injured in the line of duty often goes underreported. According to the most recent FBI report, over 48,000 sworn peace officers are assaulted annually in the performance of their jobs.
The SDPOA raises money each year through fundraisers, sponsorships and private donations to ensure that the Charity Fund is available to support members and their families not if but when we receive the next dreaded call that an “officer is down.”
While Don awaited approval of his much deserved disability retirement from the City of San Diego, the Charity Fund was there to assist the Meeks family and their five children with medical insurance, as well as the substantial cost to send Don to a specialist in Colorado to undergo extensive brain exams to diagnose his condition.
We are forever grateful to the Charity Fund’s Advisory Board of Directors and generous supporters who provided comfort and stability to the Meeks family, especially since Officers Meeks’ medical disability retirement does not include city–paid health insurance. As Officer Meeks said, “I really want to express my gratitude to everyone who’s helped out my family and me during this time. The love expressed has been overwhelming.
“The SDPOA Widows & Orphans Charity Fund” gave me a new lease on life. Not only were they there to support my family financially, but also this gives me the opportunity to serve my fellow officers by being an ambassador for the Charity Fund. I hope that I can make a difference for the next officer and their family injured in the line of duty.”
The Charity Fund will host its signature golf tournament at the world famous Torrey Pines Golf Course on Monday, April 11th, 2016.
There is an important bond that exists between local law enforcement and the community we serve. We need your support to ensure the Charity Fund has the resources necessary for the families of fallen heroes.