|Cops Helping Cops, a foundation started by Christopher Lyons
and Osceola County Undersheriff David Fowler, will be featured
on America's Most Wanted this Saturday night.
2007, during another Cops Helping Cops trip, Cofounder
Christopher Lyons found an officer, Justin "Jay" Vitrano, who
was living in sub-standard living Conditions. To view the
footage of what the home looked like, please click this link:
Not wanting anyone living like this, Chris then moved toward
getting the officer an apartment and raised a few months rent.
This would change the officer's current living conditions,
especially going through the holidays. Next was the task of
helping the officers future.
Dave and Chris in the middle of this were faced with another
major problem. The funding they had been drawing from, which
was given to us solely by the New Orleans Police and Justice
Foundation, had ran out. Originally, the two were going to
start working toward getting grants, but now there was no time
for that. They agreed to take a chance and use their own
personal credit cards and monies to finance the entire trip.
There was no way an Emergency Service Person was going to live
Terry Jungel, Excutive Director of the Michigan Sheriff's
Association, called a contact he had at America's Most wanted
and told them of what was happening with this Sgt. Vitrano.
Through pictures and video, John Walsh and the show immediately
jumped on board to help.
As the trip grew near, other people and business came on
board to help. David Sanders, an interior designer from Los
Angeles, California who is part of Bravo's new TV show,
Millionaire Matchmaker, offered his talents in helping design
the home. David even went so far as to fly down and make sure
all went well with that part of the remodeling. David also
contacted David Mutter of Doerr Furniture. Mr. Mutter kindly
donated all the livingroom and dining room furniture.
Original Sponsors of Cops Helping Cops also stepped
forward. ESS provided everyone ballistic eyewear, JW
Marriott discounted rooms, BTS Graphics and
Printing provided all the literature, and Enterprise
Rent-a-Car helped with discounted rentals.
Other companies also came to the rescue. Sleepy's, a Long
Island based company that sells quality mattresses, and their
partner, Kings Down, donated all the bedding for not only Sgt.
Vitrano, but his two children. These two companies even went so
far as to send down an extra Queen size bed after Cops Helping
Cops told them of another Officer who was involved in an
accident while on the job chasing an armed robbery suspect.
This Officers home is also in need of repairs.
Sprint/Nextel even stepped forward and generously presented
Cops Helping Cops with a check for $5,000.
All in all the trip was a huge success. 45 Volunteers from
all over came to help. There were Sheriff's and deputies from
Michigan, members of the NYPD and FDNY, Search and Rescue
personel, fellow NOPD Officers, and a Colorado State Trooper.
Even members of the America's Most Wanted crew pitched in to
So far only $14,800 of the staggering $80,000 bill has been
raised toward the cost of this trip.
Cops Helping Cops is hoping that once people see just what
they are up against, they will generously donate the much needed
funds and supplies. Not only for this trip, but for future
trips to rebuild.
Please check your local listings for when this show airs and
show your support.