Updated June 25, 2010
to the Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation, Inc.
" I have been where you fear to
go... I have seen what you fear to see...I have done what you fear to
do...All these things I've done for you. I am the one you lean upon...The
one you cast your scorn upon...The one you bring your troubles to...All
these people I've been for you. The one you ask to stand apart...The one you
feel should have no heart...The one you call the man in blue... But I am
human just like you."
Release of WW II Documentary
Jima...in the First Wave
to also help "Wounded Warriors Project"
Remembering / One mans dedication to fallen officers' survivors
By DOUG BATES
(USA - BEND, OR) When a police officer anywhere is killed in the
line of duty, Bob Dent mourns along with his fellow officers
then does something about it.
A tragedy in 1992 -- the
fatal shooting of Dent's friend and colleague, a young Oregon
State Police trooper named Bret Clodfelter - set in motion a
chain of events that stunned Pacific Northwest law enforcement. But
what is just as tragic and troubling to Dent is the death of Clodfelter's wife, Rene', who took her own
life one year after her husband died. They had been married just 33
days when Bret was killed, Dent recalls.
Dent, a now retired Oregon State Police Senior Trooper from Bend,
has seen his share of friends fall to the bullets and knives of criminals and has long been involved in providing emotional
support to the families of officers killed while serving in harm's
way. It was the Clodfelter case, however, that galvanized his
commitment and compelled him to dedicating his private life to
this cause by using his private funds to form an I.R.S. approved non-profit foundation that raises
money to help people such as Rene' Clodfelter with the grieving
His philanthropic efforts have
brought national awards, television and radio appearances, articles
by national and international magazines with commendations from
former President George Bush and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
to name a few. However, Dent is quick to give the credit to individuals
who support him, as he requires any donation given be accompanied
by the donor's name and address. He handles all correspondence
himself, keeping administrative costs near zero.
Trooper Bret Clodfelter
End of Watch: Sept. 30, 1992
Dent recalls that Clodfelter
died in his patrol car after being shot four times in the back
of the head by one of three men riding in the back seat. The
young trooper was giving the men a ride after arresting one of
them for Driving While Intoxicated. The shooter, Francisco Manzo-Hernandez had a
long violent history of assault and drug abuse and was wanted on seven
outstanding arrest warrants ranging from Manufacturing of Methamphetamine to
Auto Theft. After a 3 day intensive manhunt
for the killer (an illegal immigrant), he was found hiding in a barn not far from the murder.
At Manzo-Hernandez's trial the jury sadly
gave him life in prison instead of the death penalty. He was sent to a
Texas jail where he subsequently escaped with another illegal alien who had
also been convicted of murder. Both were eventually caught, and
Hernandez was sent back to Oregon to serve his sentence. (The
re-capture of of Hernandez and Ruiz as told by Officer Rusty Foster, Denton
Texas Police Dept).
"A fallen officer's survivors
are part of the police family, Dent said, but after the funeral,
after the honor guards, after the outpouring of support, there's
often a sudden break in contact with the department. Yet the
loss goes on for years -- for a lifetime. They too have made a
terrible sacrifice. It is important we continue to recognize that and
that these families receive help in bringing
closure to a tragic time in their lives. Society owes this debt
To help out, Dent established
the Bend-based Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation,
Inc. Since 1995, the small foundation has been raising funds to assist such
families. Contributions mainly help pay for survivors' travel
expenses to the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Services
and the Concerns of Police Survivors Grieving Conference in Washington,
D.C. in May of each year.
Dent supplements the contributions
with sales of badge mourning bands and black lapel ribbons that
are manufactured for the foundation by two seamstresses in Bend.
He sells the bands and ribbons for $3 each. "The bands bring
dignity to a symbolic expression of mourning while benefiting
the families of those slain," Dent said. He also donates
part of the proceeds from three books he has written to help support the
In 1997, Dent arranged an Oregon
appearance by Vincent Bugliosi, the famed author and former Los
Angeles prosecutor. Bugliosi wrote the best-selling book "Helter
Skelter," recounting his successful prosecution of the Charles
Manson case, and several other true-crime books including the best-seller, "Outrage," regarded by critics as the
best book published on the O.J. Simpson murder case. (At his own expense, Dent had
the Bugliosi fund raiser filmed and is selling "An
Evening With Vincent Bugliosi" (90 min.) to
raise money for the foundation).
Bugliosi, moved by Dent's work,
agreed to waive his speaking fee with all the proceeds going
to the foundation. Dent arranged
for Bugliosi's airfare to Bend to be paid by criminals convicted
of assaulting police officers, resisting arrest or eluding police officers,
through an arrangement with Dennis Maloney (deceased), former Director of the Deschutes
County Community Justice Department. Bugliosi has since been
appointed an honorary board member of the foundation.
Dent met Bugliosi at a conference
several years ago and took an interest in the foundation's work. The two became friends but it was the
cause that brought Bugliosi to Bend, Dent says.
(Vincent Bugliosi presents Bob
Dent with $16,000 check
to aid families of police officers killed in the
line of duty.)
The seeds of Dent's personal
mission probably were planted in 1976 when a Pendleton, Oregon,
police officer was stabbed to death by a motorist he stopped
to help. The officer left behind a wife and five children. Dent,
then stationed in Pendleton, helped pass the hat for the family
and other families that followed.
"For some reason many people
mistakenly believe that the spouses, children, parents and co-workers
who survive the police deaths are somehow more prepared for their
losses than are other people. Nothing could be further from the
truth." Dent said.
Since the foundation was created
in 1995, it has provided assistance to several surviving families in Oregon,
Arizona, Washington, Idaho, California, Texas, Nebraska, Virginia, Texas,
Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Florida. Read about the Sanchez
Ironically, within 45 days of
the Bugliosi fund raiser, three of Dent's fellow Troopers were killed in the line of duty.
Sgt. Jim Rector and Trooper Scott Lyons were killed in a tragic
collision while responding to help another trooper investigating
an accident involving an intoxicated driver. Thirty days later Sgt.
Richard Schuening was killed from an explosion while trying to
dispose of some illegal explosives. Dent says $16,000 raised
from the Bugliosi fund raiser will be used to help these and other families.
Dent tells of heartwarming stories
about the generosity of others such as a Bend woman who heard
about the foundation and the Bugliosi fund raiser. She sent all
she could afford -- $15. After Dent and his wife invited her
over one evening to thank her, the woman went door-to-door for
a week raising over $1,100. Still she asked for nothing. Then
there's the story of the elderly widowed woman who sends the
foundation $100 every month from her Social Security check. "She
told me her husband and brother had passed on," Dent says,
"and her contributions make her feel worthwhile, to be able
to help these families."
Dent did not stop with just
police families to help; with support from Oregon State Representative
Ben Westlund, HB2391 "The
Fallen Officer's Bill" was signed
into law in 1999 by then Governor John Kitzhaber after winning unanimous approval
from the House and Senate. The bill gives help to families of
other public safety professionals like firefighters; correctional
and juvenile officers; and parole and probation personnel. The
bill makes convicted criminals and those that put officers at
risk, pay to help the families of slain or incapacitated public
safety officers. The newly passed law requires those convicted
of felonies, misdemeanors, infractions and violations to pay
a $1.00 assessment. The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training
administers the program
that aid the officers' families.
Dent said, " We are making
criminals and those who violate the law more responsible for
their illegal acts. They should bear the cost of this bill, not
the law abiding taxpayer." The genesis of the fund is not
just living expense money. It's scholarships for the kids. It's
sending the spouse back to school, if he or she wants to go,
it's for funeral expenses, it's therapy and meetings with other
The intense 59-year-old clearly
enjoys the lectern -- an aptitude that shows up in training videos
he has produced -- and you get the feeling that in another life
he might have made a good classroom teacher. Inevitably, in today's
cynical world, the time-consuming behind-the-scenes efforts of
someone like Dent cause eyebrows to raise. What's the motivation
here? It's clearly a simple one, found in the man's own terse
"I cannot forget the
looks, the tears on the faces of all the innocent young women
with children, grieving a lost husband and father suddenly taken,
older couples who have unfortunately outlived their son or daughter,
brothers, sisters... or the Troop who witnessed a partner fall. And it saddens me greatly.
I've just been
to too many funerals. Hopefully, this small foundation can ease
the pain and suffering just a little. Nothing equals the smiles
and hugs from the family and fellow officers you help. No honor
or award can replace the twinkle in the eye or the smile on the
face when you know you've touched someone's heart...it is just the
right thing to do," Dent said. (
Please take a moment and click here... you will be glad you did. )
Mr. Dent was awarded
the "Ed Nowicki Lifetime Achievement Award" from the American
Society of Law Enforcement Training.
The award recognizes and honors individuals with leadership and
motivational skills who have dedicated their lives to law enforcement
training and who have had a significant and positive impact on our nations
Law Enforcement Community. Mr. Dent was selected from a
field of 7000 trainers in 37 countries.
Bates is a staff writer for The Oregonian
newspaper of Portland and a columnist for the daily Bulletin
of Bend, Ore. (Article reprint permitted with appropriate author
Contributions to Dent's foundation
may be mailed to P.O. Box 6415, Bend, OR 97708
Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation is an approved
(c3) non-profit and receives
no government funding. It depends solely on donations from kind
people like you.
am the flag of the United States
(Please click on the above
link. It is very much worth reviewing)
LETTERS OF SUPPORT FROM:
Former President George Bush
Vincent Bugliosi (Author of "Helter Skelter" and prosecutor
of Charles Manson Family)
Governor John Kitzhaber
State Police - General Headquarters
testimonials and comments..."Hello
My name is Robert
Dent and I am a retired Oregon State Police Senior
Trooper from Bend, Oregon. I was in the law enforcement profession for
more than 29 years.
(Please read: "My Last Shift... Thoughts
I am the founder, President, and Board
Chairman of the Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation, Inc., located
in Bend, Oregon.
Far too many law enforcement
officers and other public safety officers have paid society a
debt it demands with their lives. Leaving behind a legacy of
spouses, children, relatives and friends. The purpose of the "Fallen Officer's Legislation"
is to make those who put pubic safety officers at risk, pay their debt society
should demand of them... to financially help surviving families.
The cost of the legislation is paid by those that violate the law rather
than the law abiding, tax paying citizen. I wrote this legislation in
the memory of Oregon State Trooper Bret Clodfelter and his wife mentioned
My objective is to get this type of
legislation enacted in as many states as possible. It is important to keep the name of the
legislation consistent from state to state i.e.
the "Public Safety Memorial Fund Bill".
I encourage you to copy the information
contained here and pass it on to your agency, association or
appropriate organization. It is imperative that each organization
start a letter writing campaign to legislative representatives
for adoption. If we work together we can get this legislation passed
that will help so many.
(NOTE: Please refer interested
parties to this URL of: http://www.survival-spanish.com/foundation.htm
By passing this legislation we will
speak for those who no longer speak for themselves. If they could
speak, they would thank you for remembering their loved ones
To learn about the 1999 legislation, click on the link below:
THE "FALLEN OFFICER'S MEMORIAL
interesting statistics regarding law enforcement deaths.
you or your agency would like to help assist the families of
slain public safety officers by making a tax deductible contribution,
I will send you the ribbon of your choice as a token of my sincere
appreciation. Please mail your contribution to me at:
The Constable Public
Safety Memorial Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 6415
Bend, Oregon 97708-6415
"Mourning Badge Bands"
(Black elastic with decorative
FREE S&H. Item # 40
(Button, tie tack or
blouse ribbon )
FREE S&H Item # 42
(A suggested donation of $3.00
or more for each band would be greatly appreciated). If outside
the continental U.S. please, include a little extra for shipping.
Thank you in advance for your support. It is
you that makes it possible in making a difference in other peoples lives who
have given so much.
BOARD AND HONORARY MEMBERS
THE CONSTABLE PUBLIC SAFETY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION, INC.
Robert Dent - President and Chairman
of the Board (President Constable Group, Inc.)
Gary Dent - Vice President (President - Terra Investments Inc.)
Dave Smith - 2nd Vice President (Former Dir. Training L.E. Television
Alan Morris - 3rd Vice President (Former Dir of Training, Naval
Special Warfare Training Center - Coronado, CA)
G. Alan Ferguson - 4th Vice President (U.S. Border Patrol
Robert Maxwell - Board Member (Medal of Honor Recipient WW II - U.S. Army)
Captain Marvin Sparks - Board Member (United Airlines Pilot)
Kathy Dent - Secretary (Constable Group, Inc.)
Board members volunteer their time and do not receive any type of
Our intent is to direct as much of your money to where it is intended...to
help the families).
Vincent Bugliosi - Author of
"Helter Skelter" and prosecutor of Charles Manson
Mandi Puckett - President of IfLostTags.com
Lloyd & Lolita Clodfelter
(Parents of Bret Clodfelter)
Mike Lynch - Former President of U.S. Section, International Police
Nick Mileur - International Police Assoc., Region 29 (Sacramento, CA) (Ret.) Placer
County Sheriffs' Dept.
- Auburn, CA
Ken Bauman - Assistant US Attorney, District of Oregon,
Dr. Frank O'Hearn - Former Presidential and UN Interpreter,
Dieter Waiblinger, Director and President of Via Language Company
World Trade Center School of
Languages) Portland, OR
Jim Soules, Former Pres., Oregon Association of Chief's
of Police (Ret.)
Capt Larry Kanski - Redmond Oregon P.D. (Ret.)
Rick a Nissen CPA, - Pres. Nissen & Meyer, Redmond,
Richard Rollins - Consultant, Redmond, Oregon
I ask you to please pass this
information on to other individuals or organizations who might
help with our mission. Open your heart and give to those who gave
the most. In my opinion there are only a few things really
important in life: Family, a few loyal friends, your faith and
what you do for others less fortunate without asking for something
If you know someone who is going
through a law enforcement trauma and can use a shoulder to lean
on, please refer them to Brenda Seger's "Police
Wives" site that offers support to law enforcement families.
My wife and I would like to hear
from you and kindly ask that you take a moment to write us. Hearing from people who support what we are trying to accomplish
makes our efforts rewarding and worthwhile.
Robert and Kathy Dent
love than this no man hath than that he lay down his life for
"Too often the cruelty of
realism is unfairly thrust upon the young. Their loss of innocence
reflected in lonely cries, breaks the silence of night but will
fade with the glimmering approach of a new dawn. No bells toll for them, their names
never on the wall, no solemn
ceremonies with honor guards and bagpipes, but they too have
made the ultimate sacrifice.
- In memory of Bret
and René Clodfelter.
- Robert L. Dent,
- Board Chairman
Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation, Inc.
Please visit these other interesting sites:
“Thousands of children are
reported missing every year in the
Any parent, who has experienced the sudden fear and panic of losing
the sight of their child for only a few seconds, will quickly see the value of
these tags, especially if those seconds turn into minutes or hours. This
simple and effective device will help expedite the safe return of your loved one…when
seconds count. I highly recommend that
every parent concerned about child safety, purchase these unique and inexpensive
Oregon State Police (Ret.)
The Constable Group is a sponsor
of this wonderful program.
Jason Tye's Story and Memorial Wristbands
Cosgriff's Officer Down Memorial Page
- (A Fantastic Site in Memory of Fallen Officers)
- (Please link my memorial
site to your homepage. Thank You.
(This site is being constantly updated with new
information. Be sure to bookmark its location and return to see
what's new with Constable Public Safety Memorial Foundation,
- NOTE: (Information, comments and opinions are solely
that of Robert Dent and not of the Oregon State Police.)