The Kansas State Juvenile Officers Association Conference
was held in Wichita, KS on July 19th through 22, 2011. This is our 2nd time at this conference. Special thanks
to Officer Kurt Spivey for inviting us back. Ed4Ed's booth was manned by Carrie Draher and Ken Tork, who, though not previously
scheduled to speak, was also invited to speak to the conference.
Last week Ken and I had our first
chance to present the program together, here in Kansas at a regional law enforcement conference. The reception to
the program was in a word, overwhelming. It was not a large group. Ken and I did not know what to expect.
It was attended by 100 officers from all over
Kansas. I distributed 150 DVDs…100+ stop-the-choking-game bracelets and over 200 brochures. I have exhausted my supply of
bracelets – all the ones many of you have sent me, are being worn across our state – all my DVDs, and all my
printed materials too. I presented an earlier version of the work, two years ago. The difference between the
response then and now, is telling
me the program is developing in the right direction.
I continue to work on filling requests for DVD/CD program files.
I ran out, and could not keep up with the burns while I was there, so I put out a list. New requests are coming in via e-mail too. A very large request for DVD/CD program files (from
the conference) for our regional
school nurses association conference (at the end of next month!) was among those generated at this conference.
The out-go of materials at this conference exceed the number
in attendance. Some took more than one – to pass along to their departments. Ken, Lyndi, Leslie and I
could not be more pleased.
One (of many) personal, heart-warming and gratifying, highlights
of the 4 day conference was a private discussion I had with a detective from the sheriff’s department from one of
our counties. He spoke to me of 4 cases in his county of suicide he was going to re-open! After watching our
educational DVD, and reading our materials he feels strongly that the causes of death in each case was incorrect. (I
have only 9 reported cases here in Kansas. If these are among those that I know about – that is almost half
of the incidents that could be reversed,
and if not reversed by their medical examiner, at least those families will have some peace of mind, knowing their loved
one did not commit suicide! I was moved to tears!)
Another shining moment: We were not scheduled to speak in the main hall, however, their key-note
speaker, Lieutenant Joeseph Schillaci, (a professional motivational speaker, having met and spoken with Ken was very moved by our stories. He was moved by the work we at Ed4Ed and our colleagues
spanning the globe with the DB foundation, GASP, APEAS – to name just a few, (there are so many foundations and it
is going to take all of us).
In the program materials we strive to keep a current list
of these groups as resources in our source index. He was impressed by all we (all of us – all groups, all individuals
inclusive) are doing across the countries around the globe. We stress how many individuals, in addition to those associated
with organized groups are involved in this collective objective.
I was summoned from our booth by our sponsor to come into the main assembly hall –
their key note speaker opened his presentation by playing our DVD. He then introduced Ken and invited him to
speak – and wow – Ken blew them away. I have never seen so many adults, tough law enforcement men and
women, so moved – many with heads bowed,
tears streaming down their faces. All of them stood up giving Ken a standing ovation. Of course, I was on my
feet, applauding (holding back hoots), with tears of joy, pride, gratitude and heart ache for his loss, for all the children
lost leaving holes in your hearts and an ache in mine. The way he touches a group, (and a group of really tough people
to touch too) is amazing!