Omaha First Responders Foundation encouraged by community support for fallen Lincoln officer

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 4:48 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha non-profit that supports first responders and their families were encouraged to see the community come together to support fallen Lincoln police officer Mario Herrera.

For years the Omaha First Responders Foundation has donated equipment and support to first responders in our area and they tell us the tragic death of officer Herrera should remind us all not to take our first responders for granted.

Things have been pretty tough lately for the men and women who wear blue, some say the questionable behavior of some officers around the country, has added more stress to police everywhere.

“So, the first responders are worried about the COVID, bringing COVID home to their families. That stressor and then you add on the climate of the culture, and then you add on the climate of the defund the police, it’s just stressors on top of stressors,” said Jodi Teal, First Responders Foundation.

People in Omaha have stood before the city council asking to defund the city’s police department.

Jodi Teal is with Omaha’s First Responders Foundation, the non-profit organization donates equipment and support to area first responders. Teal says her organization is trying to help those officers in the field.

“I think it’s a lot to do with training for those first responders and police officers in the job they need, one of the things we do here at the foundation is offer some of those classes and support so they’re encouraged and ready to face those tough situations,” said Teal.

Things got tough when police officers escorted one of their own, back to his family and the community he served. Lincoln Police officer Mario Herrera died in an Omaha hospital after being shot in the line of duty.

“I think we do take our first responders for granted a lot. Sometimes these men and women show up on our worst day the answer our calls for help,” said Teal.

Teal says The First Responders Foundation also wants to help the families of first responders with the pressures they all deal with every day.

“Bringing on full-time mental health therapists that are offered here through the foundation, we offer spousal support classes as well as support groups,” said Teal.

Teal says it was encouraging to see the community come together to honor a fallen officer and hopefully remember, we should never take their service for granted.

Over the years The First Responder’s Foundation has donated more than one and a half million dollars in equipment and support for first responders and their families.

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