Back the Blue is a non-profit organization that focuses on obtaining advanced training and equipment for law enforcement agencies in Tennessee.
Historically in law enforcement, the threats to society and law enforcement officers have always outpaced the training and equipment that is provided to our respective agencies. Back the Blue seeks to close this gap and further empower our officers to provide safety and emergency services in our dangerously developing world.
A Gap in Officer Needs
The inspiration for Back the Blue came out of a conversation between our founder, Brink Fidler, and two close friends who are members of the Metro Nashville SWAT Team. As training and other law enforcement topics were discussed, the officers described some training received outside of the agency. Brink inquired about their budget for this type of advanced training, as he was curious in how to help further their training needs. Unfortunately, no budget exists.
How were they able to pull that off?
One officer pointed to the other and said, “He paid for it.” Based on Brink’s past working relationship and his friendship with this officer, he was not at all surprised by this noble act but was also immediately inspired. Further investigation revealed that this officer sold a vehicle and used those funds to support this advanced training effort that was so desperately needed by the people on the front lines.
How does the fundraising platform work?
Agencies will have the ability to submit one request at a time that details the training or equipment, the provider, and the cost.
Upon receipt of their request, we will create a page within this site that lays out the specific details of that agency’s fundraising wish and the ability for people to donate on their page.
Upon raising the funds, Back the BLUE TN will contact the agency to arrange for payment of said training or equipment. As it is being donated, it also removes the often-burdensome process of bids and RFPs.
Most people are completely unaware of this essential need in their communities and the lack of training or equipment only comes to light during some sort of tragic incident that shines a bad light on our law enforcement officers. Most issues related to officer misconduct or poor judgement, are the result of inefficient training. We sincerely believe that our mission can make a significant impact in this space. While we will not solve every one of these issues, we seek to bridge the ever-widening gap.
The Law Enforcement Environment
First, most officers on the front lines, and therefore low in rank, often remain hopeless about sending any request up the chain of command as things like this traditionally get lost on their way and lead to constant disappointment by the officers making the request. This causes morale issues for the officers who are most in need of advanced training or equipment.
Second, the first job of any police or sheriff’s department is calls for service. The agency head must prioritize patrol activities above all else. That does not mean that his or her SWAT team does not need an advanced night vision class that costs the same as a new patrol car. Instead, it means they must buy the patrol car first.
These ever-existing issues lead to officers spending their own money to ultimately get the training and equipment they need, and it causes the threats that they may face to constantly outpace their training and equipment.