FREQUENTLY ASK QUESTIONS
Rules and Guidelines for Deployments
RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR DEPLOYMENTS
When you deploy to a line of duty funeral as a member of the Brotherhood For The Fallen, Suffolk County, you do so as a representative of your department, whether it be the Suffolk County Police Department or any of our member outside agencies. You also represent the BFTF.
Therefore, you must abide by all of your department rules and regulations particularly regarding the wearing of your uniform and carrying your firearm. Your behavior is a DIRECT reflection on your department and the BFTF. Here are some rules and guidelines for members to follow when on deployment.
Wear only authorized dress uniform for all services.
Change into appropriate civilian attire for social events.
Maintain appropriate facial hair standards. This includes retirees.
Follow regulations regarding your firearm for travel.
Do not consume alcohol in uniform.
Maintain professionalism at all times.
Speak only positively about your department. This is not the venue for political posturing, particularly when being interviewed by the media.
Talk about the Brotherhood.
You will be presenting a check to the family of the fallen on our behalf.
Please share photos with us. They can be emailed to us at
Do not make your own travel arrangements.
Do not change travel arrangements without first conferring with a Travel Secretary.
Lastly, know how proud we all are that you have deployed to represent us.
OVERVIEW LETTER TO MEMBERSHIP
Thank you very much for being a vital part of the Brotherhood For The Fallen Suffolk County Chapter. We greatly appreciate your participation. Please be mindful that we are all volunteers: working towards a common goal of respectfully representing our local Suffolk County Police Departments throughout the country.
Please understand that this is a voluntary organization and that traveling is conducted on your own time. Currently, the SOA and SDA each have a bank of days that can be utilized for reimbursement of days expended for deployments for their members. (See article on this page with details.)
How we pick who travels: We send out an email blast and a text blast at the same time (whenever possible) to members who provide this information. We just unveiled a new text message system. The first reply has the first opportunity to go and can pick a travel partner. However, if they have traveled before they are passed for the next member who has not yet traveled. If no new volunteers reply, we pick from who has gone the least out of previous travelers who can then pick their partner. We appreciate everyone's interest and want to afford as many members as possible the ability to represent us on these very important deployments.
Thanks for your understanding.
Our travel secretaries Neil Stringer and Chris Erickson have a tough job in which they volunteer their own time to arrange flights, hotels, rentals cars, liaison with local law enforcement, etc. So, at times while your travel arrangements may not seem like something you'd have chosen, there are a lot of moving parts they consider when booking everything. They attempt to arrange lodging closer to the funeral venue to help ensure our members are on time for the service and are also within a reasonable distance to attend post service fellowships. In the event male and female members are traveling for a LOD, each will be afforded a separate hotel room. When this occurs, we will more than likely try to send a four-member delegation to include an additional male and female member.
We understand that the travel situation may be difficult at times with driving involved as well as flying, but remember why we are volunteering to do this. It is not leisure travel. Remember attendance at each service should be in full dress uniform to include an eight-point cap. Please do not wear sunglasses in formation.
If you agree to travel please make every effort to make your flight and attend as many related functions as possible. We understand that unforeseen things arise at the last minute but there is a lot of work by Chris and Neil making these arrangements and when someone backs out it requires a lot of behind the scenes work to remedy the travel arrangements. Furthermore, the organization is providing the reservation information and contact information for local liaisons, but the responsibility of on-time departures, arrivals, meeting locations, is on the traveling members. Remember we are doing this to pay respect to the officer who was killed doing the job each of us does and to show that officer's family the support of the national law enforcement community.
The organization will cover the costs of flights, rental cars, fuel, tolls, and lodging. However, meals and drinks are on the individual member. If this is a concern, oftentimes lodging venues provide one complimentary meal each day and many of the local law enforcement agencies provide complimentary meals and drinks at fellowships. Do not change reservation names to give yourself points or rewards.
Under US House Resolution 218, law enforcement officers are authorized to carry their firearms anywhere in the United States. Firearms can be taken on flights via checked baggage. Suffolk County Police R&Ps restrict the carrying of your primary duty weapon outside of the State of New York unless on official business. We have been given permission to carry our duty weapons for official BFTF deployments. Be mindful of your own agency R & P's on this issue. Check the following link for protocols regarding checked baggage weapons:
There have been questions as to why we don't just send a check to the families and why we pay to send members at all. Primarily, we send uniformed members as a sign of respect and solidarity across the national law enforcement community. It's one of the reasons why these five chapters: Chicago, IL; NYPD, NY; Aurora, CO; Fort Worth, TX; and Suffolk County, NY were formed in the first place. When tens of thousands of cops from all across the United States stand together in one mass formation to pay their respects to a fallen colleague, the message sent to the family of the fallen, as well as the American public, is unparalleled. It shows the world, and each other, that we care and we are willing to sacrifice some time and inconvenience to stand in formation for one of us who was murdered in the performance of his or her duties. In addition to this symbolism, one of the prerequisites to being a national chapter of the Brotherhood for the Fallen is that members attend funerals in their dress uniforms.
BFTF Bank of Days : SOA & SDA
The SOA and SDA recently signed agreements with the county which created a bank of days for each union that members can donate days into to help facilitate other members to deploy to these funerals. BFTF members can then use the bank to replenish their own time that they utilized when traveling for these funerals. Members can voluntarily donate up to 3 Vacation or Personal leave days per year for this cause.
Members are welcome from all ranks. Please consider joining if you have not already.
Below we have attached a payroll deduction form as well as the bank donation/use form. These can also be found on the SOA & SDA websites as well as the department website. Additionally, the department order related to this is attached.
Please forward all completed application forms to any board member via inter-dept mail.
Forms for donating days or requesting days should be forwarded to the Chief of Department's office with a copy to the SOA or SDA.
For additional information about the bank of days, contact your respective union representative:
SOA- you can contact Jim Gruenfelder at 631-654-0400
SDA- you can contact Jeff Cergol at 631-563-4408