Since 1999, many individuals have benefited from Assist the Officer Foundation (ATO) and for good reason. It’s a proven organization with life changing results. As we meet with people, we are commonly asked why we need such a foundation? Don’t officers have great benefits and great insurance? That is quite the contrary! We can personally tell you that Police Officers work for the public and make great sacrifices in their daily lives. Officers commonly work long hours in very hazardous conditions. In a split second, their lives can be changed forever. What the public doesn’t know is that the city stops paying an officer when they are out of vacation and sick time. That is usually a result of an unforeseen circumstance like cancer, injury, family member sickness or death. This is why ATO was created and why there is such a great need for financial and emotional assistance for officers. One of many examples that I’ve used to explain how ATO works is that of a young officer who was battling cancer. The officer’s bills were overwhelming and his family didn’t know where to turn. ATO stepped in and helped the family through this tough stretch. Today, this Officer is rebounding in many ways knowing that the city, the community, his fellow officers and ATO stood by him and his family in a time of need.