Wives of law enforcement officers provide vital support

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(KTVI) While police are out on the front lines, a different battle is being waged from home in St. Louis. The wives of law enforcement officers say they are fighting to stay strong.

Two wives, Barb and Kelly, are members of the St. Louis Police Wives Association.

“Something we found, especially in the last couple of years, is a real need for support for the officers when there’s a critical incident,” Barb said. “Whether it’s an officer who’s injured in the line of duty, or during civil unrest.”

Kelly knows first-hand the important work the association does. Her husband, a law enforcement officer in the City of St. Louis, was ambushed and shot by a gunman in the Central West End last year. Her spouse survived, and Kelly has provided the same service the St. Louis Police Officers Association did with her. She has met with the family of Michael Flamion, the Ballwin officer who was critically injured after he was shot during a traffic stop last Friday.

“I was able to give my own experience as far as getting that phone call, how should I handle this, what’s the protocol. How do I deal with the hospital,” she said.

“For me, it was very therapeutic in itself to be able to help another wife walk through and manage what I’ve gone through.”

The St. Louis Police Wives Association has been in operation for more than 30 years, with wives, mothers, daughters, and others from all across the metropolitan area.

The event in Dallas highlight the need for emotional support, Barb said, within and among law enforcement families.

“It hits very close to home for us. Law enforcement really is a family. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s the truth.”

Kelly agreed.

“Black, white, no one sees that. We see service to the community. And we’ve seen this violence to the community as a whole. It’s hurtful.”