Local organization raising money to support law enforcement following tragedies

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Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- One local organization is making it their mission to train law enforcement and their spouses on how to take care of each other following a tragedy.

Support 1 serves officers across the CSRA and beyond when the wear and tear of the job becomes a little tough.

"It's not always so much the major incidents," said Michael Ford, former first responder and co-founder of Support 1. "Seeing folks in their time of need and in a bad situation day after day after day can wear on you as a person."

Seeing a brother in blue killed in the line of duty is something most people don't understand. It's part of the reason Ford co-founded Support 1 in 2011.

"What we want to do is make sure that no matter what color your line was, we had someone there when things went wrong," he said.

Those things were like the death of Greg Meagher in 2017. Meagher passed away after breathing in chemicals at Xytex in Augusta.

"He did what he needed to do when he needed to do it," Ford said. "He was a hero before, but he's still a hero now."

Now, they're ready to help again after the killing of Investigator Cecil Ridley.

"We're there in a support capacity," Ford said. He added they haven't been in contact with the family, but are ready to help if they do.

Support 1 teamed up with the Women's Auxiliary in Richmond County to organize a month-long raffle. Each day in November, they'll give out a prize. The minimum value for each prize is $150.

The money they make from the raffle will go back to law enforcement through classes and peer support groups.

"You can only fill up your cup so far with that before you need to pour it out," Ford said. "What we do is provide a circle, a peer group of people who have experienced the same thing, and everybody can pour their cup out."

Support 1 made nearly $10,000 from the raffle that will go right back to helping law enforcement. They're holding another raffle in memory of Meagher early next year.

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