It takes a brave person to make the decision to become a law enforcement officer. Your primary job is to run toward dangerous situations to keep the public safe which often requires putting your own life on the line. It also puts you face-to-face with situations that can be gruesome and hard to witness. For example, the aftermath of a serious car accident or a shooting. While it may be easy to say that's what they train for and they knew the possibilities, at the end of the day they are still human beings, and no matter who you are, witnessing events like those can weigh heavy on their minds for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, there is one Newburgh-based non-profit that is dedicated to providing the resources those officers and their families need to cope with those feelings, and you can help them continue that mission simply by donating a pair of athletic shoes you no longer need.

The Mission of Thin Blue 1st

Thin Blue 1st, founded in 2014 by Kris Holzmeyer, an Evansville Police Department Chaplin, and his wife, Missy, is designed to provide "emotional and spiritual support to law enforcement officials and their families as they go through the rigors of everyday life." The organization provides those support services through mentoring and discipleship, confidential prayer support, retreats, appreciation outreaches, and marriage support.

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According to its website, a law enforcement officer will witness an average of 800 traumatic events over the course of their career, and 15% will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The organization provides access to counseling resources, such as therapists, to help officers work through their emotions after experiencing a traumatic event.

Ultimate Fit Turning Used Athletic Shoes Into Thin Blue 1st Contributions

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In an effort to help Thin Blue 1st continue providing those services to the officers who need them, Ultimate Fit is currently accepting used athletic shoes for its recycling program whose goal is to keep shoes out of landfills. According to a post on the Thin Blue 1st Facebook page, for each pair of shoes donated, they will receive a contribution from Ultimate Fit. The amount of the contributions was not revealed in the post.

As noted in the post, the shoes must be athletic shoes (running shoes, cross-trainers, etc.) and must have both laces and insoles.

Donations can be dropped off anytime during Ultimate Fit business hours.

[Source: Thin Blue 1st on Facebook / Thin Blue 1st]

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This year the Evansville Police Department has really stepped up its efforts to get to know the citizens they serve. Walking Wednesdays is a great way for law enforcement to be seen in neighborhoods and to meet the residents and hear their stories.

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