Posts by: Tracy Michel

Together…. We can make an impact

Sheriff Brian Burnett from Chelan County talks about the importance of his faith on this Flashlight episode.  He talks about how  faith practices have been a foundational for him during his law enforcement career and shares his own strategies for starting his day in the book of Proverbs.  Sheriff Burnett also speaks about the importance of finding connections through mentoring that can provide strength during times of unpredictability.

He mentions a leadership book by Henry Blackaby that he has found very helpful.

Here is the Amazon link to that book: Spiritual Leadership

4-7-8 Breathing

Chris and Lacy Wolff are back for another episode of the Behind the Badge Foundation LEFN Flashlight series. Chris and Lacy are wellness trainers for first responders and in the last episode they spoke about having a sense of  what is external and internal as a form of stress reduction.


In this episode they provide some insightful information into 4 7 8 breathing and why it is so helpful to officer and their families. Lacy and Chris explain and demonstrate this helpful breathing method in a way that is useful for stress that arises during a shift or the stress families feel in the ever-changing circumstances of 2020. This  practical technique is time tested for first responders and simple enough to teach your children.


HERE is an article about 4 7 8 breathing that also says it can be very helpful for falling asleep.


If you’d like more information about Chris and Lacy visit their WEBSITE

Energy Management

In this Flashlight episode brought to you by Behind the Badge Foundation’s Law Enforcement Family Network, Chris and Lacy Wolff talk conserving energy, a topic that is very important for first responders and their families.


Chris and Lacy have worked with the military for years teaching about the importance of physical and emotional resilience. In the next couple of Flashlight episodes, Chris and Lacy are going to talk about wellness from a mental, physical, social, tactical and spiritual perspective.


In this first episode they talk about stoicism and some of the ways that philosophy can be grounding. Here is a good definition of stoicism from an article written by Ryan Holiday and published in Thrive Global.


“Stoicism has just a few central teachings. It sets out to remind us of how unpredictable the world can be. How brief our moment of life is. How to be steadfast, and strong, and in control of yourself. And finally, that the source of our dissatisfaction lies in our impulsive dependency on our reflexive senses rather than logic.”

You can read the entire article HERE

Chris and Lacy talk about understanding what you can control and what you can’t and how understanding the difference helps reduce stress and contribute to wellness.


You may contact Lacy and Chris through their WEBSITE

Beauty in the muck…

Gayle Frink-Schulz, Program Director for Behind the Badge Foundation and a police widow shares about the importance of finding space for healing and for growth. She shares insights she learned while responding to Office Rick Silva’s death. The lotus flower is both beautiful and meaningful and it provided a tangible touch point for the Silva family…and now for Gayle.

Here is an article that more fully explains the significance of the lotus flower. Click Here

Join us for new episodes next week with Chris and Lacy Wolff who will talk about energy management and tactical 4-7-8 breathing. Be sure to subscribe to the Behind the Badge Foundation YouTube Channel so you don’t miss a single episode.

WELCOME to the Flashlight Series

Sparking Conversations….

Brian Johnston, Executive Director of Behind the Badge Foundation, provides details about the upcoming Law  Enforcement Network Flashlight Series.  Upcoming topics include: energy management, stress reduction, sleep issues associated with shift work, couples communication and resilience. New episodes will be up on YouTube and social media twice a week.

Be sure to subscribe to the Behind the Badge Foundation YouTube Channel so you don’t miss a single episode.


Grieving During Covid-19

Behind the Badge Foundation received this brief powerful video on grieving the loss of a loved one during these unprecedented times.  Thank you to Code4 NW and the Seattle Police Department for sharing this important message.

To see the video, click HERE

Incredible News for Officer Wellness

We are living in an unprecedented time, a time of uncertainty and stress for all people, but especially for our law enforcement officers.  Acknowledging this reality, it is incredible news for Behind the Badge Foundation to announce the passage of two pieces of legislation specific to officer wellness which were enacted into law today by Governor Inslee today.  This collaborative work accomplished in the 2020 Legislative Session is vitally important to law enforcement officers across the state of Washington.  SB 6570 and HB 2926 will provide for the further development of programming directly supporting law enforcement officer mental health and wellness, as well as critical incident stress management.    

This important work could not have been accomplished with the support and partnership of the following people and organizations. Please help us in thanking the following: 

The Honorable Jay Inslee, Governor 

SB 6570 – Sponsors  

Concerning law enforcement officer mental health and wellness.  

Prime Sponsor: Sen. Curtis King  

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña  

Sen. Keith Wagoner  

Sen. Liz Lovelett  

Sen. Claire Wilson  

HB 2926 – Sponsors  

Expanding access to critical incident stress management programs.  

Prime Sponsor: Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber  

Rep. Brian Blake  

Rep. Joel Kretz  

Rep. Drew MacEwen  

Rep. Luanne Van Werven  

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker  

Rep. Jenny Graham  

Rep. Larry Hoff  

Rep. Dan Griffey  

Rep. Drew Stokesbary  

Rep. Kelly Chambers  

Rep. Alex Ybarra  

Rep. Tom Dent  

Rep. Andrew Barkis  

Rep. Keith Goehner  

Rep. Bruce Chandler  

Rep. Joel Kraft  

Rep. Roger Goodman  

Rep. John Lovick  

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self  

Rep. Tana Senn  

Rep. Chris Gildon  

Rep. Mike Sells  

Rep. Matt Boehnke  

Rep. Lauren Davis  

Rep. Norma Smith  

Rep. Mary Dye  

Rep. Tina Orwall  

Rep. Carolyn Eslick  

Rep. Sharon Shewmake  

Rep. Gerry Pollet  

Rep. Marcus Riccelli  

Rep. Paul Harris  

Jennifer Ziegler   

Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs (WACOPS): Teresa Taylor and Jeff DeVere  

Council of Metropolitan Police & Sheriffs (COMPAS) : Renee Maher  

Pat Dunn    

Susan Dunn   

Washington State Patrol Troopers Association (WSPTA)  

Washington State Patrol Captains and Lieutenants Association (WSPLCA) 

Letter from the Executive Director…

To our friends.
We have all been affected by the current issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the measures that have been taken to reduce its spread. We want to let you know a few things. First, none of the services that we offer to our law enforcement community have been disrupted by COVID-19. We have taken appropriate precautions and will continue to fulfill our duties to the best of our ability into the foreseeable future. However, due to the ongoing public health crisis and the moratorium established by the State of Washington and the King County Health District as well as the recommendations published by the CDC, Behind the Badge Foundation has no other alternative than to cancel and/or re-schedule all events and trainings through April.

This includes:

  • GR/IN Critical Incident Stress Management, March 16-18, Bellingham Rescheduled Fall
  • Northwest Region Honor Guard Training, March 23-26, Yakima Reschedule October
  • 22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction, April 4, SeaTac – Possible Reschedule, May 9
  • Fun with the Fuzz 5K, April 18, Bellingham – Canceled

We are working on rescheduling both of these trainings. Please look forward to them in the early fall.

22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction

We have always seen the WSLEM Ball and Auction as an event not only to Fundraise but to also “Friend-raise”. For 22 years our supporters and friends from all over the region have come together to honor those that have gone before us and to be with each other in fellowship and celebrate the life and achievements of law enforcement officers and their families. This year we believed this celebration was especially necessary; emergency service workers are always on the front line in advance of the rest of the community when faced with the unknown or impending peril. We had hoped that we would be able to provide respite from the current crisis. When April cancellation became apparent, our committee worked very hard to come up with an alternate date. As of today, there is a possibility we will be capable of rescheduling for May 9th at our host hotel the Seattle Airport Hilton. This is dependent on several factors including the availability of certain vendors as well as updated health advisories.  Starting next week, we will be reaching out to every registered attendee and sponsor to process refunds and returns should you not be able to attend.

Fun with the Fuzz 5K

Due to the enormous undertaking, Fun with the Fuzz 5k in Bellingham will not be rescheduled at this time.  This event, like the WSLEM Ball and Auction, has a substantial following and we understand the disappointment of all our attendees on the cancellation of this substantial fun run. Information on refunds will be forthcoming.

I would like to take a moment and recognize the efforts and all the hard work done by our volunteers for both 22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction and Fun with the Fuzz 5K. Both committees have worked tirelessly over the last 7 months to produce quality fun events with a purpose. To say this is a labor of love would be an understatement. Our existence and many of the broad range of services we are able to provide are available because of good hearted volunteer committee members.

We are keeping a close eye on the ongoing statistical information and the messaging coming from our governing officials and our health officials. In the next several days we will be examining that information along with our May calendar which also includes a Peace Officers Memorial/Medal of Honor on May 8th in Olympia as well as National Police Week in Washington DC.

In closing, we would like to thank all our emergency responders and our support entities within those agencies. Law enforcement officers, correctional officers, life safety firefighters, paramedics, physicians, nurses, dispatchers, support and administrative staff and so many others; we know that you don’t have the option to stay home. We know that you are working hard and that you continue to put yourselves at risk day in and day out. Know that we are forever in your debt.

In the coming days we will attempt to keep you informed and up to date as to our current status.


Brian Johnston

Executive Director


22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball & Auction FAQ Page


We understand that in an unprecedented time of rapid change and so many unknowns, we thought it helpful to share with you some of the questions we have either posed ourselves or been asked over the last few weeks about this event.

State restrictions on events/groups have been extended through April 8th.

Date Change May 9th

We worked diligently with our host hotel and other vendors to move the date of the 22nd Annual Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball and Auction to May 9th. The previously listed event schedule will remain in place for the weekend of May 9th.

 What happens to my ticket?

To ensure the most thorough accounting and customer service, the Ball and Auction Committee will be reaching out to ticket holders initially through email. You may also receive individual contact by telephone. New tickets will be reissued. If you are not able to join us on the new date, we will be process refunds in the coming weeks. Expect to hear from someone during the week few weeks.

You will need to contact the Seattle Airport Hilton in reference to your accommodations.

We have been able to create a block of rooms for the new date. Please contact the Seattle Airport Hilton Hotel directly to update your reservations. We do not have the ability to cancel, change or modify any individuals or groups reservations. You may reach the hotel at 206 244-4800  with the new reservation code LAWX20. Or you may book a new reservation online

I see other organizations running online auctions and/or other solutions. Why not adapt the event?

The committee felt very strongly about preserving this event exactly as it is. They have found the perfect balance of fundraising while honoring the officers we have lost and did not want either half to get muddled in a new event.

What is the financial impact on Behind the Badge Foundation?

Like you we are concerned about our organizational financial future. We rely on events like the Ball and Auction to help fund vital programs and initiatives across the entire Foundation. We also rely on these events to connect with the people that we serve and the people that who continually support us. While this this pandemic will significantly change manner in which we work in the short term, our pledge is that we will continue to support our Law Enforcement officers, families and agencies, especially in their time of need, to the fullest extent.

If you do not see the answer to your question, please refer your questions to event director Kevin Haistings and Tracy! at for more answers.