When you hear the term “Motorcycle Club,” what comes to mind? Do you think violent, gang-related, dangerous groups, or do you think civic-minded, charitable, law enforcement people want to help others?
As you may know, Charlie is a former law enforcement officer and is currently a 911 dispatcher, so we are affiliated with the law enforcement community. Not to mention, I have cousins and uncles who are retired law enforcement, so you can say it runs in my blood.
I have always been a big supporter of law enforcement and all first responders; police, fire, EMS, military, dispatchers, and so on. What these men and women do every day to keep us safe and protect our rights as Americans is honorable.
I realize that there are varying opinions of law enforcement and our military, and everyone is entitled to theirs. Still, I believe it takes an extraordinary type of person to put their life on the line every day for people they don’t know.
The Thin Blue Line LE Motor Cycle Club was started here in Houston in 2009 by three brothers. They realized other motorcycle clubs had affiliations with law enforcement, but they wanted theirs to be different than any other.
I honestly had never heard of this group and had no clue what they stood for. I understood the concept around “The Thin Blue Line” but wasn’t aware there was an actual club locally, much less what they did.
The goal was to be a charitable organization that provided support to first responders and their families in times of need. They also wanted active in their community and build relationships between the public and the first responder community.
We are a law enforcement motorcycle club whose members are active duty, retired, or reserve law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies and jurisdictions, along with our civilian friends who support us in our profession. Together, we share the love of American made motorcycles, the wind in our faces and the brotherhood of like minded motorcyclists. As a fraternal organization, we strive to support one another, law enforcement professionals and our community. Our colors clearly identify our affiliation with law enforcement and we are bound by our oath of office and law enforcement “code of ethics.” Our members reflect a positive image for our profession and our club. Thinbluelinelemc.com
The club is now nationwide with a chapter in Australia, so they are truly international and growing every day. They are also a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
As I approached the location of the meeting, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “What would the unknowing person assume if they walked up to a bar and saw all these motorcycles?” Would that person turn around and walk away, assuming the worse, or would they go in and see what was going on?
After I met with the folks that had invited me to the event and started talking with people about the organization, I soon discovered that they were no different than me. They just rode motorcycles and were first responders, married to a first responder, or retired. They have families, share their successes and failures, and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones just like you and me.
Whether they are providing scholarships for children of first responders, assisting financially to help a family when an officer is injured, or donating money to help offset medical expenses, I heard over and over again how many different ways they give.
One story shared with me is about a local police officer who was injured while at a golf fundraiser for the Thin Blue Line Foundation. His injuries were quite severe, and his prognosis was not good at one point. Due to his injury occurring off duty, there were mounting medical expenses, and, of course, health insurance was not going to cover it all. The officer was not only a huge part of the local force for 26 years, but he also worked security at Houston Astros ball games when the team was in town.
When the Astros organization heard of his injury and the plan to have a fundraiser to help his family, they stepped up and donated the stadium’s use for the event. Oh yea, did I mention that he got a World Series Ring from the team for his service?
A fundraiser was held with the assistance of the Thin Blue Line LEMC, and over $140,000 was raised to help this man and his family. That is what they do; they step up, raise money, and help those who need it in the Law Enforcement Community.
Each chapter has its own hats, t-shirts, decals, and many other items that they sell to raise funds for the Foundation. Also, they have motorcycle rides, chili cook-offs, bowling tournaments, and golf tournaments. All to raise money to help their brothers and sisters in their time of need and provide scholarships to help kids get to college.
I left this event feeling so proud. Proud to say that I spent the day with these wonderful people and learned so much about this fantastic organization. Inspired that there is help for the first responders and their families in times of need. Most of all, I felt excited! Excited about how I can help this group by getting the word out and sharing my time with them with all of you.
I invite you to go to the website www.thinbluelineLEMC.com. Read their story, look at the pictures, and then think about all those first responders in your city and the sacrifices they make to keep you safe.