I am walking to raise money for Concerns of Police Survivors in memory of my husband, Essex County Police Officer Keith E. Neumann.
I married my childhood friend in June 1989 and we thought we
would have a long, happy life together. Just 6 weeks after saying “I do”, my husband,
Essex County (NJ) Police Officer Keith E. Neumann was killed during a drug raid
on August 3, 1989. I was a widow at age
22 and I struggled to find others who could understand my pain.
I attended National Police Week in 1990 where I was first
exposed to Concerns of Police Survivors and other line-of-duty widows. Instantly,
I no longer felt so alone. I learned that C.O.P.S. had done a study that showed
“the fewer number of years in a marriage, the higher the level of distress of
the surviving spouse”. I was living
proof that the research findings were spot on!
I found it was cathartic to help others as I got involved
with C.O.P.S. I am a co-founder of the Garden State Survivors Chapter of
C.O.P.S., chartered in July 1998. I have held numerous positions within the
chapter that now serves almost 500 law enforcement survivors in New Jersey. I ran
for the National C.O.P.S. Board in 2002 and served as the Northeast Region
Trustee for two years. In 2009, I was appointed to Chapter Coordinator
overseeing 52 chapters nationwide.
In 2012 I was elected National President. I have been honored to represent C.O.P.S. since May! This has kept me very busy as you can imagine.
I know that moving forward does not me an forgetting. Keith
had his life taken away and he didn’t have a choice. I have my life and I do
have a choice. So I always try to live
my life for both of us. I work hard to be happy and successful and not to waste
this precious gift of life. Today, I have a wonderful family and I’m very fortunate.
They support me and all of my efforts for Concerns of Police Survivors.
I am living proof that after losing a loved one in the line
of duty you can be happy, healthy, and positive again. I live that life with Mike
and our four children Anthony, Catherine, John, and Claire. My family helps me
with fundraisers, stuffing envelopes, selling t-shirts, and traveling on behalf
of C.O.P.S. I’m blessed to have my family understand my needs to continue to
honor Keith. Although I keep his memory alive, I am able to love and live
again. I learned that from Concerns of Police Survivors. I am walking for C.O.P.S. Walk to help raise
money to fund all of the wonderful programs they offer to law enforcement’s
line of duty survivors. This year I will have walked in two COPS Walks in one year bringing my total miles up to 150 miles on behalf of C.O.P.S.
Help me reach my goal of $1,000 for this very worthwhile cause!