ALEES Executive Board
A Message from the President of the Arizona Law Enforcement Emerald Society
The AZLE Emerald Society stone along the stairway of the Irish Cultural Center (ICC) In downtown Phoenix http://www.azirish.org/
The Arizona Law Enforcement Emerald Society was incorporated in 2004 and is part of a national fraternal group of law enforcement organizations that celebrate accomplishments of Irish-Americans in law enforcement. The Arizona Law Enforcement Emerald Society Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that was created in 2012 to provide financial assistance to the families of injured and fallen brothers and sisters in Arizona law enforcement.
2016 ALEES Board
President: Matthew Shay
Vice President: Paul Robertson
Secretary: Kelly O'Connell-Weigel
Treasurer: Kathleen Walters
Sgt. at Arms: Gary Fuchs
Special Events Chair : Erin Ring
Social Media Chair: Diana McLaws
2016 ALEES Foundation Board
Chairman: Tony Diefert
Treasurer: Bridgette Shay
Events Chair: Merissa Schipper
Detective Matthew Shay is a Phoenix Police Officer with 21 years of experience and has served on the Board of the Emerald Society since 2009.
When I first started as a beat officer in downtown Phoenix I had very little knowledge of the ins and outs of policing. I was mentored by some of the finest men and women on the department and soon had developed a feel for the city and the citizens I served.
I remember the first time a cop I knew was shot and killed in the line of duty. Three years in and still wet behind the ears, a brother who had dressed out with me was struck down and left behind a grieving family. That day returns to me crystal clear each time I attend a fellow officers funeral. Standing at attention while radio puts out the last call, I feel the same tightness in the chest, the clammy, clenched fists and sting of tears being fought back erases years in just moments.
Years passed and the list of fallen grew. More funerals came and went, more shrouds were worn, and time went on.
In 2010 the then president of ALEES held the first "Officer Down Fundraiser" to raise money for the families of five officers from various state and federal agencies serving Arizona and who had given all that terrible year. It was a brilliant event, well attended and well received. We raised a significant amount of money for those families and found that it was probably as healing for us as well as for them.
It was a major step for ALEES and we have not looked back since. Over these past six years we have held dozens of fundraisers and provided well over $60,000 in aid to spouses, mothers and children and hope that they know that they are always part of our thoughts and prayers. Once family, always family, in Law Enforcement.
I encourage each of our visitors to take a moment to inwardly thank those men and women of Arizona who each day pin on a badge, holster a gun and step from their home and families into the abiss of the day, not knowing what it may bring, and not fearing that unknown. Pray that they serve bravely and with honor and return to their loved ones at the end of shift. Should they be called to a greater place during that shift that they do so knowing their extended family will watch out for those that they left behind.
Please consider supporting our organization by volunteering, providing financial support, or simply purchasing an item so that we can keep helping our extended family .
Thanks , Matt.
Links to other Emerald Societies, associate charities, and other Non-Profit organizations we support.