The SMPOA Charity (Survivor’s Fund) was created after the death of SMPD Officer Ricardo Crocker who passed while on active duty in Iraq in 2005. The charity assists police families with transportation, funeral services, and addresses specific survivor needs at a time of tragedy involving death of a police officer. The charity donates to all police officer families in California whose loved ones have died while in service to their community. Donations to fallen officers outside of CA are made on a case by case basis. The SMPOA Charity has a 501(c)(3) designation and donations are tax deductible (Tax ID Number: 16-1752297).
Pink Patch Vignettes
Police Officer Mike Ortiz
My mother has always been the number one lady in my heart and an inspiration throughout my life. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was an emotional wreck. I wanted to be by her side every day, unfortunately work and my young children made spending time with her difficult. From a distance, I watched my mother’s strength and fighting spirit overcome the illness. My mother perseverance confirmed my belief that she is one of the strongest women on this planet. As a husband and father, I understand and value the importance of regular checkups and mammograms and encourage my family to consistently monitor their health.
Lieutenant Roberto Villegas
Growing up playing sports or doing regular boy stuff you would commonly hear the other boys say things like, “You fight like a girl!” One of my favorite movies, The Sandlot, has a pivotal scene where Ham accuses his rival of “Playing ball like a girl!” It was so insulting that the other team could not take the challenge laying down. You grow up believing that “fighting like a girl” or “playing ball like a girl” is something weak or soft or to be ashamed of. When my mother was diagnosed and had to suffer through chemo and radiation treatment, I saw a brave woman fight cancer courageously and she never backed down. She walked into the oncologist’s office with her head held high every third Friday for her chemo treatment despite knowing what
was waiting for her a day or two later. She packed up to move and unpacked after the move all while going to daily radiation treatments, because she wasn’t going to let cancer or the fatigue of radiation stop her from moving to a nicer home. So when people ask me how cancer has impacted me, I say that I wish I could “fight like a girl.” I hope that when faced with such a life altering moment I will have the courage to fight as my mom did. To fight like a girl is not something to be ashamed of, Teresa Villegas taught me it’s something to be proud of!
Detective Marisela Perez
I wear pink for my mom! In 2014, my world was rocked when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. My mom has always been my hero and she fought it like a champ. She is the strongest woman I know. Her battle became my battle and today 5 years later, I can say with a huge grateful smile, she is cancer free!
Sergeant Tina Greer
Breast Cancer Awareness month is very near and dear to me. Not many people know, but I lost my aunt, Linda Greer, to breast cancer on December 10, 2011. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer four years earlier, I did not know much of this disease. Since 2008, I have educated myself on ways to combat this disease through diet and exercise among others. I’m extremely grateful for all the breast cancer awareness campaigns as they continue to help improve on the causes, prevention methods, and cures for breast cancer. My name is Tina Greer – Sergeant with the Santa Monica Police Department and this is my Breast Cancer Awareness story.
Charity Fund Donations to CA officers who have given their lives in 2020:
Detective Amber Leist – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Officer Kaulike Kalama – Honolulu Police Department
Officer Tiffany-Victoria Bilon Enriquez – Honolulu Police Department
Deputy Terrell Young – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Detective Marylou Amber – Santa Rosa Police Department
Officer Dan Walters – San Diego Police Department
Officer Efren Coronel – El Centro Police Department
Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller – Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department
Deputy Koichi Nishimura – Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department