These are tough times for law enforcement officers, their supporters, and friends. The cancel culture is screaming to defund the police and showing support for the police can be downright scary. I've read news articles explaining how the "thin blue line" is racist and oppressive, but I don't see it like that. That is not and never has been what this site and business are about. I wish everyone was nice to one another and lived harmoniously, unfortunately, it doesn't work that way in reality. Every society has rules (and laws) to help one another live together, and there are people in every society who choose to break those rules. Some rules should be broken, and there should be a process to challenge the rules, but some rules are universal, such as not engaging in activity that could hurt others (think of drinking and driving, speeding through a school zone while kids are around, shooting a firearm in a crowded environment) and these laws need to be enforced in order to maintain safety and civility. Let me add that they need to be enforced fairly and evenly. To me the "Thin Blue Line" represents those men and women who devote themselves to helping others live safely. Is it perfect? No. Are there some people who misrepresent what I believe the thin blue line stands for? Yes. There will always be outliers and maybe the profession as a whole hasn't done a good enough job to weed them out quickly, but the vast majority are good people trying to do their best in a very difficult job. Nobody's perfect. Let me be the first to say that I devoted 18 years of my life to law enforcement, and I would like to think that my positive impacts on the lives of others outweigh my faults and errors, but only God knows for sure. I pray that I have honored the profession well.
If you're still reading, I created the "I Support" mug to show support for those in law enforcement without having to scream it loudly. It's subtle, but it shows where your heart is.
Like first responders, our business has been classified as 'essential.' Okay, we can all agree that there are various levels of essential workers, we realize that we are nowhere near as valuable as doctors, nurses, firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and 'real food' employees, but we are able to stay open and provide coffee. We never had the luxury of a brick & mortar store, all of our sales are online, so our business has changed very little for us.
Yes, we consider ourselves very fortunate to remain open. Our hearts go out to the many millions of hard-working people that are currently unemployed because of this pandemic.
Our hearts also go out to the people, their families, and friends who are suffering from this virus. As I get older, I have come to peace with the thought that no one lives forever, but to spend my last days and hours alone, without family nearby would be a nightmare.
Of course, our hearts go out to the first responders who respond to calls not knowing what to expect in the best of times, now facing an enemy that may not only attack them but that they may unintentionally bring home to their families.
With all this negativity, I force myself to look for bright spots in our current situation. Pollution has gone down worldwide. Employers may learn that allowing employees to work from home isn't a bad thing, which helps with future pollution and traffic. I talk to my mother more! We live 800 miles apart, but I find myself wanting to connect more often. I'm an old guy with young kids and I am treasuring the time I spend with them at home knowing that when things are 'better' they'll have 'better' places to be than home with dad. Home-cooked meals! I'm not very good in the kitchen, but my wife is a fantastic cook and we're eating more homemade meals and I'm loving it. I'm also really enjoying the quiet - less traffic both on the street and in the air. I'm hearing more birds and find myself able to relax more.
I'm trying hard to keep my spirits up, but as we all know it isn't all unicorn farts and rainbows. The solitude, the unknowing, the 'invisible' enemy can all cause anxiety, which brings me to the second official charity that we support here at THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE, and that is BLUE H.E.L.P. BLUE H.E.L.P. is a charity helps the families of officers who died by suicide and to help prevent officer suicides.
We named the company in honor of the thin blue line of officers who help society function. Whose existence protects the vast majority of citizens from the elements of society who would prey on them and thrive in the chaos. Who respond to humans acting at their worst and the consequences of such actions. Those of us who have held that role know the negativity, the misunderstandings, the incorrect assumptions, the second-guessing that comes with the job. It takes its toll. When I heard of BLUE H.E.L.P. I thought, "There but for the Grace of God, go I." I got out.
I know law enforcement isn't easy, which is why I devoted this company to give back to the organizations that I believe best help officers and their families. We support two great ones, Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) and BLUE H.E.L.P. I hope you can find it in your heart to support these charities who help the most vulnerable in this proud profession.
When I founded THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE I had been a police officer for over 18 years for the City of Berkeley, California. Those who aren't familiar with the West Coast, it is a city across the bay from San Francisco and shares a southern border with Oakland. Quick shout out to BPD, OPD and SFPD! At the time, Berkeley had a population of around 110K people and had all the same big-city crime as our neighbors. I sustained an on-the-job injury and was retired out as a sergeant. I started when I was 22 years old and was out at 39. I have since "re-invented" myself twice and have had what I consider a good life, raising a family and being in a position where I can give back.
So, why do I mention this in the blog?
Law enforcement officers need our support and that's where THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE separates itself from some other businesses that directly support charities. Officers need to be adequately prepared to work on the street. They need basic equipment to function safely and they need the right tools and training, but they also need support for themselves and their families to help handle the toll that the job takes on them. This last part is why THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE was founded. We let others help pay for equipment, we focus our assistance on helping the person behind the badge. The charities we support help fix broken families and broken officers. It's not sexy or glamorous. You won't see us put our name on a new SWAT truck or sponsor the purchase of firearms. That area is covered quite well. We believe in getting officers home each night both physically and mentally and making sure their families are okay should the worse happen.
I've been there. I was a SWAT team member for years and participated in multiple call outs. I've witnessed some horrendous things. I've experienced the high of doing my job well and the low of having large swaths of my community not understand. I've even hidden the fact that I was a cop many times over many years to prevent conflict. What other profession does that?
I hope people understand that we need law enforcement and we need to take care of them in more ways than just giving them new toys. We need to show our support for the person behind the badge and those they leave at home each night. I encourage you to support the charities we stand behind.
Normally I stay away from topics like this, but after having read this article, this heart felt cry to understand and find meaning out of a senseless murder and the subsequent complete disregard for the dignity of someone who devoted his life trying to help others, I felt compelled to share this article. It's not for those who are easily offended, but it is 100% on target.
May God bless Officer Michael Langsdorf, his family, friends and colleagues; you are all in our prayers.
I was recently approached to donate to BLUE H.E.L.P. a charitable organization whose motto is, "Honoring the Service of Law Enforcement Officers Who Died by Suicide." I said, "Yes," and didn't think twice.
I can only speak for myself when I say that the job of being a police officer is very stressful and can be quite depressing. In the past I have tried to explain what I mean to friends, but haven't always been successful. I'll give it one more try here.
Not at their best
As an officer you get to meet a lot of good people, but it's not like you're invited to share their good times, it is usually at their worst time. When they've been victimized, when they've been in an accident, when they are intoxicated or when they are upset. Good people can act like @ssholes under certain circumstances.
When firefighters show up at a coffee shop or (in Berkeley) a yogurt shop, you hear comments like, "Oh, they are cute," or "what a cool truck." When a cop stops to get coffee or something to eat, they often hear, "What's wrong?" and "Why are you here?" Always with the expectation that something is bad.
Shouldn't you be out catching a rapist or doing something important?
I can't tell you how many times I heard the above statement when I was stopping someone for a traffic violation. Cars can kill and traffic enforcement is important.
What people do to other people is.... inhumane
I know I could have gone my entire life without witnessing some of the horrors I've seen people do to other people. There are some images you can't erase.
Home should be a safe place
When you come to realize that you care more about someone's child than they do.
When heavy vehicles are moving at speed and hit one another, a motorcycle, a bicyclist or a pedestrian, the results can be horrific.
Officers have to make decisions, often under stress, in less than ideal circumstances, without all the information and often very quickly. Someone's life may depend on the decision. Then days, weeks, months later, from the luxury of their office, with all the information that has since become available and 20/20 hindsight, people start to second guess the officer's decision.
Negativity becomes "normal"
When you consistently see the negative in people, when your job is to deal with the problems of society, when you are reading articles where people are second guessing your decisions, you often see negativity as normal.
It adds up
I tell people who express an interest in becoming a law enforcement officer that the job will pull everything out of you. Any emotions, habits, secrets that you think you've hidden from others will rise to the top over time. It's okay, it's part of being human, just don't be surprised when they show up.
Don't give up hope
I've never had a job that made me feel better or made me feel like I made a difference in others' lives like being a police officer. To prevent a crime, to help a victim, to save a life all tower over other jobs I've had before and since. It takes a special person who runs towards the sound of gunfire in order to help others, but don't think it doesn't come at a cost.
*We ship for free in the U.S.A. and it is a fantastic deal! Great, freshly roasted coffee, delivered to your door. Our coffee not only smells wonderful when it arrives, but it tastes even better, and the best part is that your helping law enforcement families with each purchase.
So, you may have noticed that our prices have gone up. We hate to do this, but USPS raised rates a few months back and it is more than we can absorb.
If you search around you find that we sell coffee for the same price as other online sellers, but most don't help our brothers and sisters in blue, and they charge for shipping and it ain't cheap.
As seen on another coffee vendor's site:
I'll help you do the math...
$13.99 for coffee + $5.95 for shipping = $19.94 to your door if you buy from them
Our displayed price is to your door PLUS we help officers and their families who were hurt while doing their job. We donate to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S) on each sale.
Help yourself, help those who serve to protect you. Purchase your coffee from THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE.
I ask you, would you rather THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE spend money on advertising, which lines the pockets of ginormous companies, or instead donate the equivalent (or more) to law enforcement fundraisers that directly benefit LEOs?
My wife worked for a large retail sales company whose claim to fame was customer service. Competing companies used to advertise on television like crazy, but this company didn't, instead its passion to provide outstanding customer service and offer a legendary, lenient return policy drove sales.
I would like to see THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE have donations drive sales. Our mission is to support LEOs, so why give money to huge, uncaring companies that promote anti-police content if it helps it sell more advertisement? I'd like to provide LEO fundraisers with coffee that they can use to raise money instead of spending money on advertisement.
But there is a catch...
Only government can be generous with other people's money. THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE needs sales in order to donate to local LEO charities.
We exist to help law enforcement officers and their families.
In these trying times when others want to make police look like the 'bad guys,' the law enforcement community needs to support one another. I wore blue, I bled blue, I support the blue with every sale. If you or your association drinks coffee, please choose to support the company that supports you and your loved ones.
Email us at email@example.com if you are looking at ways to supply your agency or association with coffee. We have more options than what appears on this site.
Supporting law enforcement families is the ultimate goal.
There is a bit of confusion between BRCC Thin Blue Line roast coffee and THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE (TBLC). I'd like to clear up the confusion.
First, let me reiterate: Supporting law enforcement families is the ultimate goal and both BRCC with their thin blue line roast and THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE company support law enforcement families so purchasing either is a good thing. If your not going to buy from THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE then I would hope you'd buy from BRCC.
So, that is how they are similar, how are they different?
1. Every sale of any product sold from THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE results in a donation to Concerns Of Police Survivors (COPS), a nation-wide law enforcement charity. You can find them on Charity Navigator.
2. At BRCC, only sales of the thin blue line roast will result in a donation to a law enforcement funding and equipment. If you buy other roasts, there is no donation to law enforcement.
3. At THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE we donate on each sale, not the profit we make. This seems subtle, but it has to do with our goal mentioned above. We make a donation on each sale whether we make money or not on the sale and trust me, sometimes we find ourselves reaching into our own pockets to fulfill our promise.
4. From BRCC's own website, "A portion of the profit from sales of this roast will be donated to provide those in the law enforcement community with life-saving equipment and funding."
5. We include shipping in our price, which is a huge expense...talk about a profit killer.
6. BRCC is a veteran owned company, THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE is a retired police officer owned company. I wore a blue uniform for 18 years until I was retired on a disability.
7. I included an image that best compares the size of BRCC to THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE.
8. To match the marketing budget between the two companies, compare the planet to the vacuum surrounding it.
9. THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE will also make the promise that if you order from us and don't like the coffee, we'll give you a refund AND still make the donation to COPS on the sale.
I like BRCC. I like that they are a veteran owned company and they support law enforcement. Now that you know how THIN BLUE LINE COFFEE differs from them, you decide how you want to support law enforcement officers and their families.
I'd be honored if you shared this blog with friends, family and colleagues.
This came across my desk and I thought that I'd share...
Police Lip-Sync Challenge it's a link to a CNET article and videos from various police departments. Quite entertaining.
My favorites are the Norfolk Police and Fort Worth Police videos.
Besides raising morale, it can't hurt as a recruitment tool. More on that later.
We try really hard to keep our message one of hope and caring for those who need assistance, but when looking at the news this morning our collective hearts sank.
Click the link (above) to read the story, the line highlighted below, which I read on Father's Day, brought me to tears:
"Rohrer, 35, died shortly after the shooting. He had been with the force for seven years and leaves behind two young children, Wyandotte County sheriff's Maj. Kelli Bailiff said. King, 44, died early on Saturday at a hospital. She had three children, including a young one."
No one in those families is having a Happy Father's Day this year...
Our prayers go out to the families, friends and colleagues of these two fallen heros.