Support group helps grieving parents of fallen officers

LITTLE ROCK, AR – This weekend, the Concerns of Police Survivors non-profit group known as C.O.P.S., held a parents retreat in Little Rock to help those who’ve lost loved ones in the line of duty heal.

The survivors get counseling, and they end up making life-long friends at the retreat.

In April of 2011, Donald and Kathy Schmidt lost their son, Trumann Police Officer Jonathan Schmidt, when a gunman killed him during a traffic stop.

“He wanted to help clean Trumann up and make it a better place for his children to grow up in,” says Donald Schmidt.

This weekend, Schmidt’s parents spoke with FOX16 about their son’s death.

“The loss of a child is something that you never expect to bury your own children,” adds Donald schmidt.

“Unless someone’s been there, they can’t, there’s no way they could possibly know what to say to someone,” says Kathy Schmidt.

The couple joined C.O.P.S. after members reached out to them at their son’s funeral.

“They made the ultimate sacrifice to keep democracy free and safe,” says group member Jeanne Caverly.

“We tend to get out of it more than we give,” says Jim Caverly.

The Caverlys travel across the country in an RV raising awareness.

“They’re going through that grieving and mourning process and one year you come and you see them in a corner and they’ve got their arm around a newly grieving set of parents, and you know they’ve turned that corner,” says Jim Caverly.

Caverly even rode his bike across the country to honor fallen police officers like Jonathan Schmidt.

Schmidt’s parents remain thankful they can be part of this weekend’s retreat and talk to people going through similar situations.

“If I could say anything to people out there, respect your police officers. They put their life on the line for us every day, and everyone needs to pray for them,” says Kathy Schmidt.

The services offered by C.O.P.S. are free of charge to the families.

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