Thursday, October 04, 2012 1:38 PM
Woman walking 25 miles for fallen cops' families
By Corey Friedman | Times Online Editor
Danielle Battle heard that a police officer died after being shot in the chest. Then, she learned that his wife was pregnant.
A Wilson native and the wife of a Louisburg police officer, Battle said Jeremiah M. Goodson Jr.’s July 17 killing in Lumberton made her think about fallen officers’ families.
"That really devastated me, the fact that he was going to work and his child will grow up having never met his father,” Battle said.
The 23-year-old nursing student will walk 25 miles in two days to raise money for Concerns of Police Survivors, a national nonprofit group that helps the families left behind when officers die in the line of duty.
"I want to do whatever I can to honor the police officers,” she said. "This is just one way that I’ve been able to show support.”
Battle is joining dozens of fellow fundraisers in the COPS Walk, planned Saturday and Sunday along a 25-mile stretch of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath outside Washington. Money raised during the walk helps COPS pay for survivors’ retreats and National Police Week conferences in May.
COPS Walk participants are asked to raise $2,500 each. Battle said she’s received about $1,200 in pledges and has until Nov. 1 to collect the money.
"I’m not going to be penalized if I don’t get it,” she said. "It’s more of a personal thing. I’ll feel like I let somebody down.”
Battle was born in Wilson and attended B.O. Barnes Elementary School before her family moved to the Raleigh area. She and her husband, Ian Battle, recently bought a house in Zebulon.
Ian Battle has worked for the Louisburg Police Department for about a year and "loves everything about being an officer,” his wife said.
He enrolled in basic law enforcement training after he and his wife made a pact to follow their dreams. Danielle Battle, who was working as a wedding and event planner, is now attending nursing school at Johnston Community College in Smithfield.
"He wants to make a difference,” Danielle Battle said. "He really wants this town to be safe, and he’s been a great asset to his department.”
Ninety American law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty this year. Locally, N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Bobby Gene DeMuth died Sept. 8 when a robbery suspect struck him during a high-speed chase on U.S. 64 outside Spring Hope. DeMuth was placing stop sticks in the road to deflate the suspect’s tires when authorities say 40-year-old Christopher McCoy Rogers swerved to hit the trooper.
DeMuth, who worked at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office for two years, was assigned to the Highway Patrol station in Rocky Mount.
"They sign up to do a job, and they’re putting their life on the line every day,” Battle said. "I’m just so thankful that every day thus far, my husband has been able to come home safe. But you never know when it’s going to be his time.”
Battle said friends have pledged $1 for each of the 25 miles she’ll walk this weekend, and her fellow nursing students contributed to the cause during a doughnut sale fundraiser.
To donate online, visit Battle’s Web page on the fundraiser site Razoo by going to http://bit.ly/T3QXXX.
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