As law enforcement agencies across the United States prepare to honor fallen officers next week, there is a renewed focus on assisting those who survive traumatic injury in the line of duty.
Prince William County police Officer Jesse Hempen survived an ambush-style shooting in February 2016. He and Officer Dave McKeown were injured in a shooting incident in Woodbridge that killed Officer Ashley Guindon.
The three officers were responding to a domestic call when Ronald Hamilton, an Army staff sergeant, opened fire on them as they approached his house. Guindon died from her injuries on her first day on the job.
"She was part of the police family," Hempen said.
Hempen and McKeown survived their injuries, surrounded by support from their agency, their families, and the D.C.-area law enforcement community. Hempen is back on the job teaching new officers about, among other things, the dangers of the streets.
He said he never regret his choice to become a cop.
"Even with all that I've been through, with all that, I still think it's a good career," Hempen said. "Even with the way things are today in our society, it is a tougher job than it has ever been."
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The Capital Area Law Enforcement Foundation is holding a golf tournament on May 16 and honoring Guindon. The organization helps raise money to assist the families of officers who sacrificed their lives or suffered a career-ending injury.