Though he has never served on the force, Floyd has been one of the biggest law enforcement supporters since 1984, when the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund was created to honor those in law enforcement who had been killed in the line of duty as well as support their families, those survivors who would bear the loss lifelong.
During the 27 years since the NLEOMF was born, the organization has been able to raise funds to build the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., a monument dedicated to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty where names of officers are inscribed into annually during a weeklong event in May. The organization is also working on buildilng a National Museum, a first of its kind, to be located across from the Memorial in Judiciary Square. The museum broke ground in October on construction and is scheduled to be complete in late 2013.
TW: You've been working in this capacity since about 1984, which is 27 years. Can you tell me what the greatest part of your job is?
CF: The greatest part of my job, I think, is really two-fold. No. 1 would be meeting the men and women who serve in law enforcement and getting to know what a special breed of people they are. And No. 2: It's being able to educate the American people about the value of law enforcement in this country. Those are the favorite parts of my job.
TW: And then the reverse side of that coin, what's the hardest part of your job?
CF: The hardest part of the job is to see the children of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, the young children, and know that they'll have to grow up not having the opportunity to know their mother or father. And that's very sad, when you think of it that way. A lot of lives are being lost, a lot of families, their lives are shattered. A lot of those kids are spared the agony at the time of death because God allows them to be innocent and not fully cognizant of the tragedy that has befallen them at the time of death. But as they grow older, they're going to miss not having their mother or father there with them, those milestones—graduation day, wedding day, seeing their first kids being born—that's sad to know that this is more than just numbers and names. This is about real people and real lives that are being devastated every time an officer is killed in the line of duty. Every year during national police week especially, we meet those children, we meet the spouses and the parents of these officers who have died and that's the hardest part, is dealing with the tragedy that goes along with line of duty fatalities.
TW: OK. You kind of mentioned earlier that your current job is kind of a surprise. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
CF: Probably a journalist. I wanted to write, write books. To work in the media. But for whatever reason I decided that wasn't quite what I wanted when I got a taste of Capitol Hill. During my senior year of college, I was an intern up there. I decided that that really excited me. It was a place where I felt like I could make a difference. So I started down this path, working for that congressman and that really changed my career goals. And then I just kind of moved into this job naturally because I really cared about law enforcement and I wanted to see that memorial built. And it was a privilege, really, to have that opportunity to lead the effort, so I didn't want to walk away from that privilege and challenge and was able to succeed and we've been doing it ever since.
TW: You also mentioned the differences between 1974, as the deadliest year for law enforcement, through today, there have been a lot of changes in technology available to law enforcement. Our medicine practice has gotten better to treat things like gunshot wounds. What would you say is the single most important product that you've seen developed since 1984.