A national convention focused on healing the families and friends of first responders lost in the line of duty is coming to Terre Haute next month. Organizers of the National Law Enforcement Survival Summit say the event addresses not only the physical well-being, but emotional, psychological, and spiritual issues that often result from the death of police officers. The convention will be hosted by Project Never Broken, a local nonprofit created by the sister of slain Terre Haute police officer, Detective Greg Ferency.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business of Health reporter Kylie Veleta, founder and Executive Director Shelley Klingerman said the four-day conference will bring many resources to one place.
“It’s intentional, as we’re all trying to do is break the stigma of asking for help,” said Klingerman. “The trainers who are going to be here are people who have had to ask for help, and perhaps wouldn’t be here had they not.”
Greg Ferency died in July 2021. He was fatally wounded as he exited the FBI office in Terre Haute. Ferency later died at the hospital. Out of the family’s grief, Klingerman started Project Never Broken.
She says the Wabash Valley County has lost three officers over the past decade and understands the emotional weight associated with the death.
“Our officers, our first responders, need the education, the resources, the connections, the network that this conference will bring. Even before the most recent incidents has happened in the Richmond and Elwood community, we already needed it,” said Klingerman.
Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton died two days ago while in hospice care. She was shot August 10, but never recovered. Burton was pulled from life support three weeks ago and died Monday.
Elwood Police Officer Noah Shahanavez was shot and killed July 31. He was just 24 years old. Burton was 28.
“We need this resource in this area more than ever. It truly executes to the mission of Project Never Broken, which is to boldly support law enforcement through hope and healing, while honoring the resiliency of humanity. So it’s a very intentional reason why we’re bringing it to this community,” said Klingerman.
The conference will take place October 11-14 at the Terre Haute Convention Center.