There are few police organizations more community orientated than the Cleveland Police Foundation, who’s Community Policing and Liaison to the CPF is BBO member and Cleveland Police Captain Keith Sulzer.
So it’s no surprise that, every time BBO is in town, Captain Sulzer has another opportunity for our members to give back. This year, while in Cleveland to honor the family of their recent line of duty death, Cleveland Police Officer Vu Nguyen, Captain Sulzer invited us to walk in high heels….yes, that’s correct. WALK IN HIGH HEELS.
‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Foundation’ is an organization dedicated to raising awareness as it relates to domestic violence. As they state on their website, “There is an old saying: You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. It’s not easy walking in these shoes, but it’s fun and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about: gender relations and men’s sexualized violence against women.”
As such, BBO administrator/Cleveland Police Officer Patricia Katynski and BBO Board Member Joshua Oliveri headed down to the Dive Bar in Cleveland to meet Captain Sulzer and do just that. After donating in order to take part, the participants are asked to walk the streets of Cleveland while donning their choice of donated high heels. If it was attention they were seeking, they definitely received all they could have hoped for from passers by and restaurant goers.
With BBO’s help, Cleveland Police Department was able to, not only participate, but also to raise money for the cause. While the mood is light and the laughs are almost non-stop, the conversation is very real. ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Foundation’ states, “It’s critical to open communication about sexualized violence. While hidden away, sexualized violence is immune to cure. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get people talking. People unfamiliar with men’s sexualized violence against women don’t want to know it exists. It’s ugly. People that have experienced sexualized violence themselves want to forget about it. How do you get people talking now, so they can prevent it from happening? And if it’s already happened, how do you help them recover.”
As Brothers Before Others evolves, we will continue to team up with like minded charities, similar to the Cleveland Police Foundation, geared towards impacting law enforcement and the communities we serve.
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