Fallen Heroes

About The Program

The Telmate Fallen Heroes Program is proud to honor the memory of law enforcement officers who fell in the line of duty. Through this program, Telmate will provide financial assistance to fallen officer organizations and/or dependents (spouses, children, parents) of fallen officers by awarding a monetary gift to assist with immediate needs. These one-time gifts are limited to; line of duty deaths and their dependent spouses and/or children, and/or in support of existing organizations in support of fallen officers. All applications are reviewed and approved by the Telmate Cares Fallen Heroes committee for accuracy and completeness. Scholarships are awarded on a monthly basis (or quarterly basis depending on need) to one person or organization that applies for the scholarship.

Our Partnership

Learn more about our partner here.

Award Recipients

Telmate Honors Three Louisiana Fallen Heroes

OCTOBER 17, 2016 – On October 12th, Telmate representatives, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, and the Baton Rouge Police Department gathered in memory of three local Louisiana officers that fell in the line of duty on July 17, 2016.

As part of the company’s program called “Telmate Fallen Heroes,” Telmate donated an undisclosed amount to the following funds:

  • Deputy Brad Garafola Memorial Fund
  • Corporal Nicholas Tullier First Responder Fund
  • Sergeant Bruce Simmons First Responder Fund

Telmate, a leader in corrections solutions, has developed the Telmate Fallen Heroes Program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected to receive a scholarship/donation to support families of fallen officers or organizations selected by those families.

Dedicated Howard County Deputy Receives Telmate Fallen Heroes Award

Kokomo, IN – MAY 18, 2016 – As part of the Telmate Fallen Heroes Week, Telmate will honor fallen Deputy Sheriff Carl A. Koontz of Howard County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana, in support of National Police Week. Koontz is one of five fallen officers being honored by Telmate, from five regions of the U.S. during the weeklong memorial.

Telmate representatives and local law enforcement officials will gather at  5:30 p.m. at the Howard County Sheriff’s Office to give a Telmate Fallen Heroes award and donation to the Deputy Carl Koontz Memorial Scholarship. Kassandra (“Kassie”) Koontz, Deputy Koontz’s wife, said the scholarship has been established to help one male and female recipient attend the college of their choice.

Around 12:30 a.m. on March 20, 2016, Deputy Koontz and his fellow deputies served a search warrant in connection to a narcotics case. When the deputies

entered the home the subject opened fire on Koontz and a sheriff’s sergeant. Both were transported to a local hospital where the deputy succumbed to his injuries.

The 27-year-old served two years with Howard County Sheriff’s Office but he was more than just a police officer. Known for his dedicated approach to life, Koontz also worked part-time as a liaison officer at Northwestern High School where he was a highly admired role model to the students.

“He had a reputation of helping others and was very involved with his community,” said Kassie, “which is why it was important to me that his scholarship criteria incorporate both Carl and our nine-month-old son Noah.” The deputy’s badge number was 76, so scholarship recipients will have to complete 76 hours of community service and write an essay: “What does the word community mean to you?” Each scholarship recipient will be awarded $807, the number representing Noah’s birth date.

It takes a special person to become a police officer and Kassie believes her husband met all the characteristics of being a hero. “A hero never gives up and Carl was a fighter until the end,” she said.

Outside of his law enforcement duties, Deputy Koontz was a committed family man who enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with his wife, son and their German Shepherd.

The Telmate Fallen Heroes Program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected to receive a scholarship/donation to support families of fallen officers or organizations selected by those families.

Telmate Fallen Heroes Honors Beloved Texas Detective Sergeant

HUTTO, TX – MAY 19, 2016 – A private ceremony to honor fallen Detective Sergeant Chris Kelley of the Hutto Police Department, Texas is being held during National Police Week, which takes place on May 15th – 21st.

The event is part of the company’s first-ever, Telmate Fallen Heroes Week. Kelley is one of five fallen officers being honored by Telmate, from five regions of the U.S. during the weeklong memorial. Telmate representatives will join in the ceremony and donate a Fallen Heroes award and donation to Kelley’s wife and two children, who are remembering him at this time for his service to others and humble approach to life.

“He was very good at what he did — as a father, husband, officer, and detective,” said his wife, Michele Kelley. “He never took credit, but instead gave credit to everyone else because he was a selfless person and didn’t want the limelight.”

On June 24, 2015, Kelley fell victim to vehicular assault while attempting to apprehend a subject who had just stolen his patrol car. The two struggled before the assailant broke free, entered the patrol car, and struck Sergeant Kelley as he drove away. He was quickly apprehended by another officer. Kelley was taken to Seton Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

Kelley is remembered as a hero who dedicated his 38 years to serving others. At age 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for eight years. He went on to join the Hutto Police Department and climbed the ranks to Detective Sergeant where he served for just ten months.

Michele explained that being a hero means: “Laying yourself on the line in an effort to save others … police officers do that every day and don’t get credit for it.”

The Telmate Fallen Heroes Program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected to receive a scholarship/donation to support families of fallen officers or organizations selected by those families.

Telmate Fallen Heroes Award Honors the Legacy of Montgomery County Sheriff

MOUNT VERNON, GA – MAY 17, 2016 – As part of the Telmate Fallen Heroes Week, Telmate will honor fallen Sheriff, Ladson Lamar O’Connor of Montgomery County, Georgia during National Police Week on Tuesday, May 17. The event will take place at the Montgomery County Courthouse at 11 a.m. O’Connor is one of five fallen officers being honored by Telmate, from five regions of the U.S. during the weeklong memorial.

Telmate representatives, Montgomery police and local law enforcement agencies will gather in memory of the local sheriff, who was deeply connected to his community. Danielle O’Connor, Sheriff O’Connor’s wife, will be accepting 

the Telmate Fallen Hero award and donation on behalf of her husband. The undisclosed amount will go to the Danielle O’Connor Survivor Benefit Fund.

On June 15, 2015, Sheriff O’Connor helped in the pursuit of two subjects on Highway 56 who deputies had attempted to stop in Toombs County. The vehicle fled as its occupants fired shots at Toombs County deputies. Sheriff O’Connor joined when the pursuit crossed into Montgomery County, but his vehicle left the road and collided with a tree causing him to suffer fatal injuries.

The forty-two-year-old sheriff was a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, and his loyalty and devotion to protecting its 9,000 citizens began well before he was elected Sheriff in 2013. “It was his home town and he wanted to make a difference for generations to come,” said his wife, Danielle Partin O’Connor. She added that her husband had a deep rooted love for his county and wanted nothing more than to serve and protect what he loved the most.

When asked about the definition of a true hero, Danielle referenced the inscription on her husband’s grave: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” She believes it perfectly mirrors her husband’s legacy: “He truly did lay down his life for his family, his friends and protecting his county.”

In addition to serving Montgomery County for two years as sheriff, O’Connor was a family man with four children and one grandchild. He was also an avid hunter who enjoyed hunting deer and duck.

The Telmate Fallen Heroes Program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected to receive a scholarship/donation to support families of fallen officers or organizations selected by those families.

Telmate Fallen Heroes Honors California Deputy Sheriff Who Lived What He Loved

VISALIA, CA – MAY 13, 2016 – As part of Telmate Fallen Heroes Week, Telmate will honor fallen Deputy Sheriff Scott Ballantyne of Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, California, during a “24 Hour Vigil” event hosted by the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Ballantyne is one of five fallen officers being honored by Telmate, from five regions of the U.S. during National Police Week.

The vigil is open to the public and begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 13 and ends at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 14. All are encouraged to attend and show their support. Telmate will honor the late Deputy at the service with a donation to the Deputy Scott Ballantyne Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is dedicated to educating and training young people interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

In addition to honoring Ballantyne, the service will pay tribute to all law enforcement professionals by projecting a live

webcast of a 28th Candlelight Vigil from Washington DC at 5 p.m. The vigil is an annual National Police Week event hosted by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), a Telmate partner.

On February 10, 2016, Deputy Sheriff Ballantyne and Sheriff’s pilot James Chavez were in an aircraft assisting ground Deputies with the search of a subject wanted for brandishing a firearm. After the subject was arrested, the aircraft was preparing to leave the area but lost altitude and crashed into a mountain in Springville. Both Ballantyne and Chavez were killed in the crash.

Survived by his mother, brother and two sisters, Ballantyne was very caring of others and had “an understanding of people” that influenced his nearly 3-decade-long career in law enforcement, according to mother, Jean. “I just thought of him as someone doing something he really enjoyed,” she said, “so I’m glad he has been recognized as a hero — he will always be a hero in my eyes.”

Highly respected by his fellow law enforcement officers, Ballantyne filled many roles during his 27 years with the department and will be remembered for his passion for protecting the community he served.

Telmate, a leader in corrections solutions, has developed The Telmate Fallen Heroes Program as part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected to receive a scholarship/donation to support families of fallen officers or organizations selected by those families.

Telmate Honors Fallen Kentucky State Police Trooper Who Lived a Life Putting Others First

LAWRENCEBURG, KY – FEBRUARY 11, 2016 – The ceremony to honor fallen Kentucky State Police Trooper Eric Chrisman is set for February 11. The event will take place between the boys junior varsity and boys varsity basketball games at approximately 7:00 p.m. at Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg, where Chrisman graduated from high school.

Telmate representatives, Kentucky State Police and local law enforcement agencies will gather in memory of the local trooper as part of the company’s program called “Telmate Fallen Heroes.” As a recipient of the program, Telmate will donate an undisclosed amount to the Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg, “Eric Chrisman Memorial Scholarship Fund.” Randy Chrisman, trooper Chrisman’s father, said that the fund that has been established will help to promote his son’s message of always putting others before yourself.

“My son always put others before himself, which is one of the many reasons he chose to join the police academy over being a dentist or a doctor,” said Chrisman’s father. He recalled a note his son jotted down on a piece of paper, believed to be one of the last things the trooper wrote. It reads: “I will: protect those who need protection, serve those in need, show compassion, stand up to

the bully, be the best I can at everything, never give less then my all. My God is first, family is second and everyone is family.”

On June 23, 2015, trooper Chrisman was responding to a reckless driver complaint. Chrisman’s vehicle failed to negotiate a curve and crossed into the opposite lane where the side of his vehicle collided with an oncoming tractor-trailer near Grand Rivers, Kentucky.

The 23-year-old had served only six months after graduating from the State Police Academy. He was at the top of his class academically through high-school and college. He graduated with a major and two minors from Western Kentucky University.

Chrisman’s father explained what being a hero means: “A true hero treats others how they want to be treated, and always puts others first.”

The Telmate Fallen Heroes program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected to receive a scholarship/donation to support families of fallen officers or organizations selected by those families.

Telmate Fallen Heroes Award Honors Beloved Kentucky State Trooper

RADCLIFF, KY – JANUARY 12, 2016 – The ceremony to honor fallen Kentucky State Police Trooper Cameron Ponder is set for Tuesday, January 12. The event will take place during a halftime ceremony, of the boy’s basketball game at North Hardin High School, where Ponder graduated in 2002.

Telmate representatives, Kentucky State Police and local law enforcement agencies will gather in memory of the local trooper as part of the company’s program called “Telmate Fallen Heroes.” Telmate will donate an undisclosed amount to the Trooper Cameron Ponder Memorial Fund. Brenda Tiffany, Ponder’s mother said that the fund that has been established at The Cecilian Bank in Hardin County will help to “carry on Cameron’s singular passion for helping others.”

On September 13, 2015, Ponder was fatally shot after a high speed pursuit with a man who committed a traffic violation and attempted to flee the scene.

During the chase the man abruptly stopped his vehicle, causing Ponder’s patrol car to crash into it. The suspect leaned out his vehicle and fired several shots into Ponder’s police cruiser, hitting him several times. Ponder was taken to a hospital, but died.

Trooper Ponder was a thirty-one-year-old U.S. Navy Veteran who had graduated from Kentucky State Police Department (KSP) training academy last January. He served his community and KSP for just nine months before being fatefully struck down. “Cameron’s desire in life was to affect change and to defend the weak and help those in need,” recalled his mother. “He truly felt the Kentucky State Police Department gave him the biggest venue to affect that change.” She explained that being a hero means: “Putting all others above oneself and sacrificing their own life for someone else’s without reservation.”

The Telmate Fallen Heroes program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected for the scholarship to support fallen officers or families of law enforcement officers in need.

Telmate Fallen Heroes Scholarship Awarded to Fallen San Jose Police Officer Mike Johnson

SAN JOSE, CA – NOVEMBER 3, 2015 – On November 3rd, Telmate representatives and the San Jose Police Department gathered in memory of local slain Police Officer Michael Johnson. As part of the company’s program called “Telmate Fallen Heroes,” Telmate donated an undisclosed amount to the San Jose Police Officer’s Association Charitable Foundation (SJPOA) to support the fallen officer’s family.

Officer Johnson was fatally shot on March 24 while responding to a 911 call involving a suicidal man with a gun at an apartment complex in the 2600 block of Senter Road. “Mike,” as he was better known, was thirty-eight-years-old and the department’s first line-of duty death in 14 years. Responding officers were met with gunfire and veteran officer Johnson was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.

Officer Johnson had faithfully served with the San Jose Police Department since

2001, the same year he joined the San Jose police academy. He was considered an officer’s officer, who constantly gave back to his community every chance he could and was a tirelessly devoted family man. He also had a lifelong love of martial arts, was a black belt in judo and taught adults and children at the Pacific Judo & Ju Jitsu Academy in South San Jose.

The Telmate Fallen Heroes program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected for the scholarship to support fallen officers or families of law enforcement officers in need.

Telmate Fallen Heroes Scholarship Awarded to Support Local Slain Kentucky Officer

BARDSTOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 – On September 24, Telmate representatives and the Bardstown Police Department gathered in memory of local slain Police Officer Jason Ellis. As part of the company’s program called “Telmate Fallen Heroes,” Telmate donated an undisclosed amount to the Jason Ellis Memorial Fund.

“The entire city of Bardstown continues to mourn the loss of Officer Ellis,” said Police Chief Rick McCubbin. “His memory will never be forgotten.” Bardstown Police K9 Officer Jason Ellis was shot and killed in the line of duty, which happened in the early morning hours of May 25, 2013. He was ambushed when he stopped on his way home from work to clear debris from the road on the Bluegrass Parkway outside the city limits in Nelson County.

Officer Jason Ellis’ widow, Amy Ellis, was in attendance for the presentation.  Amy Ellis said “our family has been overwhelmed with the support the community has given and we are extremely grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of Telmate.”

The Telmate Fallen Heroes program is part of the company’s community outreach program called Telmate Cares. Every month, nominees are presented to a committee and one individual or organization is selected for the scholarship to support fallen officers or families of law enforcement officers in need.

“We have the privilege of working with corrections and law enforcement agencies and personnel on a day to day basis,” said Telmate Chief Marketing Officer, Jeff Hansen, “and we are so honored to do what we can to support law enforcement agencies and their families.  We recognize the sacrifice Officer Ellis made to protect his community and we are honored to make this award to support his family”

Through the Telmate Fallen Heroes fund, Telmate donated an undisclosed scholarship amount to the Jason Ellis Memorial Fund designed to support Ellis’ surviving family.

Telmate Cares Awards Scholarship to Law Enforcement Club at ACA 145th Congress of Correction

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 13, 2015 – On August 16, during the American Correctional Association’s 145th Congress of Correction, Telmate will award Indiana-based law enforcement Untouchables Motorcycle Club (UMC) a $5,000 scholarship as part of the company’s Telmate Fallen Heroes Fund, a part of the Telmate Cares program. The fund provides financial assistance to law enforcement organizations like UMC in support of fallen officers or families of law enforcement officers in need, by awarding a monetary gift.

“We have the great honor of working with corrections and law enforcement on a day to day basis,” said Telmate Chief Marketing Officer, Jeff Hansen, “and we are so honored to do what we can to support law enforcement organizations like UMC.”

UMC was originally created in 2000 to benefit the widows and children of fallen police officers or families of officers in need. If no officer is killed in the state of Indiana, UMC still conducts fundraising for a worthy recipient, most likely a family member of a living police officer, who is in need of help. This month, UMC selected to award Telmate’s gift to Crown Point police officer Mike Brazil as his family incurs overwhelming medical expenses for their daughter, Emberly Brazil who suffers from Rett Syndrome. A rare genetic neurological disorder, Rett Syndrome attacks the nervous system resulting in loss of language and motor skills. Emberly’s story stole the hearts of the Telmate scholarship committee and she was immediately chosen as the first scholarship recipient.

Children like young Emberly, who are suffering from Rett Syndrome, endure a lifetime of expensive treatments, therapies and medications to complete normal daily activities that we sometimes take for granted — like eating and dressing. “The emotional and financial impact of this disorder can be crippling, said Todd Cliborne, President and Co-founder of UMC. “But we hope to relieve some of that financial burden with Telmate’s gift.”

Nominate a Recipient

Selection Guidelines

  • Applicants must complete and submit the application/certification form (to the left).
  • Applicants will be selected based on their eligibility, and their commitment to support fallen officers.
  • Scholarship award recommendations and final selection will be at the discretion of the Telmate Cares Fallen Heroes committee.
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