The primary mission of the team is to plan and carry out a LODD funeral. Also to provide assistance and comfort to the family and department and help with filing PSOB and other benefits.
Les has served as Team Leader for the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team since 2010. As Team Leader, he oversees the regular activities of the team and works with as many as 20 volunteers on the team to assist law enforcement agencies and families with line of duty deaths (LODD). While assuming overall responsibility for ensuring that the families wishes are included in final honors, the unsung heroes are the team members who plan and execute the detailed and precise plans that go into a line of duty death funeral service. Les is the primary contact for agencies and families to ensure continuity and is responsible for introducing them to outside organizations that the Team partners with who are also there to assist them through this difficult time. He regularly presents to law enforcement associations and agencies on how best to prepare for a LODD and how the Team can assist them when tragedy strikes. No matter how many times he sees it or how prepared he thinks he is, Last Call and Taps get him. “It is such a powerful few minutes that evokes so many emotions, sometimes you just have to walk away for a moment.” Even though through tragedy, Les says he enjoys the many friendships he has developed with survivors as a result of honoring their hero. Les has served in law enforcement and criminal justice for over 23 years with various agencies.
AJ has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team since 2016. He joined the team to put his logistical planning and peer support skills to use. AJ had the opportunity to see firsthand the effects this team had on his family and the agency of his daughter’s biological father when he died in 2015. AJ has been a peace officer since 2009 and is currently the Chief Deputy at The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office located in Plattsburg, Missouri. AJ was designated as the Assistant Team Leader in late 2017. Even through the unfortunate circumstance, AJ loves being able to help his brothers and sisters through the grief process as well as meet and work with the families to ensure every part of this tragic experience is exactly how they envision it. AJ runs the team’s largest fundraiser and plays a large role in keeping our team financially sound. AJ says the hardest part of being on the team is seeing the spouse or children of a fallen hero struggle. Even though he has seen it many times, he struggles every time he hears taps and the last call for a fallen hero.
Kim has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team since 2019. She joined the team because she wanted to use her planning and organizational skills to have an active part in providing final honors for her brothers and sisters in blue who have made the ultimate sacrifice. With 31 years of law enforcement experience, Kim has attended many law enforcement funerals. She believes one of her most important responsibilities with the team is helping to maintain a 24-hour vigil with our fallen before they are laid to rest, and while never easy to hear, she considers the last radio call to be the most meaningful portion of the final honors. Although it is never good to get the call for a team deployment, Kim enjoys the camaraderie of the team, the ability to laugh with them in the midst of sadness, and the opportunity to help the family, both blood and blue, of the fallen in the most practical of ways during their hour of need.
Bill has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team since 2017. He joined the team to put his knowledge of drill and ceremony skills to use. Bill was previously in the United States Marine Corps, where he spent two years stationed at Marine Barracks 8th & I in Washington, DC. There he was assigned to a rifle company and performed countless numbers of graveside honors at Arlington National Cemetery for fallen Marines. He has been with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office since 2010 and is currently a Sergeant for the Sheriff's Office patrol division and is the team leader for the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard. Sgt. Talley loves using his skills and knowledge to honor our fallen officers, by ensuring that they receive the highest honors for their ultimate sacrifice to their communities. Bill says the hardest part of being on the team is maintaining “military bearing” while seeing the fallen officers' family and fellow officers’ struggle emotionally during the services. Even though he’s heard it more times than he cares to count, Sgt. Talley says it’s hard on him every time he hears taps played.
Randy joined the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team in November, 2014. He is currently a patrol deputy with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, and serves on their Honor Guard Unit. Randy has an extensive background in communications and mobile technology. He believes the rendering of final honors for a fallen officer to be one of the most important, and least talked about, duties of the job. It’s important to him, to ensure that survivors know they are not, and never will be alone – their loss is felt by all who wear the badge. He has been on nearly every line of duty deployment the Team has been called upon to assist with, including two of his own.
Shannon has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance team since 2019. She joined the team because she feels very strongly that there are no words that can be said to the families of the fallen that can adequately convey the sense of sorrow, understanding and support one law enforcement officer has for another the way full honors do. Shannon feels that being fully supported by the “sea of blue” is the starting point for the family’s hearts to heal. The overwhelming presence of uniformed officers show the family, both blood and blue, that their loved one did not stand alone, and neither shall they. It is a visual reminder that their loved one mattered, and that there are many officers who will always be there, whatever their needs may be. She considers it a great honor to be part of the extremely detailed planning process, so that those closest to the fallen officer can concentrate on grieving, rallying around the family and beginning the healing process. Shannon has been an Agent with the Missouri Department of Conservation for 18 years.
Joel has a great passion for honoring our fallen heroes who have died protecting our friends, families, and neighbors. His passion to honor the fallen stems from 19 years in law enforcement and experiencing firsthand, the effect a line of duty death has on family. After losing his brother in the line of duty in 2007, Joel decided to become a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team and has served since 2014. Prior to joining the funeral team, Joel served as Vice-President of the Missouri chapter of COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) for two years. He brings knowledge, professionalism, and a personal understanding of the grieving process to the team. The greatest objective of the group is to honor the fallen with the utmost respect and to provide comfort to the family and agencies affected by the tragic loss. The most rewarding part for Joel is knowing that we did our part in honoring these men and women for the heroes they are.
Jon has had the honor of being a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team since 2018. He joined the team as a dedicated member who is eager to provide final honors for his brothers and sisters in blue. Jon believes that one of the most important aspects of this team is to assist the family and department throughout the grieving process. He makes countless efforts to ensure he is readily available for the family’s needs and continually educates himself on available resources to pass on to the family. One area of the process that he finds especially meaningful is the tribute of the bagpipe and bugle and, of course, the final call is one of the most difficult moments of the entire tribute. Jon understands the true duty of service and believes that being a member of this team is a way of giving back to heroes and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Jon was once tasked with trying to get Kenny G to perform at a service and if he would have had an additional day, he probably would have pulled it off.
David joined the MOLEFAT family in 2018 when he attended a training event held in Kansas City. David has served as a Missouri Conservation agent for twelve (12) years in the Missouri Ozarks in Van Buren. He has a family of six (6) and enjoys the rural Missouri life adventuring in the outdoors daily.
David has a passion for public service and for those that serve. The impact David wants to leave with fallen officers and their families is that they remember they are not alone in the struggle of loss. David desires to just be present and helpful to the team and develop relationships across Missouri supporting our family of LE and first responders. The first funeral David attended was of a fallen MSHP trooper. Honoring our fallen and their families has been important to him ever since.
Ric has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance team since 2019. He joined the team because he wanted to assist families in remembering their loved one. Ric is honored to be part of the planning process where the team so thoughtfully and meticulously puts together the arrangements to honor our fallen community servants, who are true HEROS. He wants the family members or loved ones to know that their fallen HERO made a difference, and that their HERO was a valued member of our law enforcement family. He also feels it is important for them to know that, they themselves will never be without their extended law enforcement family. Ric has been with the Missouri Department of Conservation for 20 years and currently serves as a Lieutenant in the Northeast Region.
Josh has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team since 2020. Josh has been a police officer with the Springfield Missouri Police Department for 14 years and serves on their Honor Guard detail. He believes the work the team does delivers grieving agencies and families the chance to step back and focus on their inward healing instead of the pomp Officers most certainly deserve. Josh is proud to be part of a group of individuals who drop everything in their professional and personal lives for days or weeks at a time to ease the burden of another. There are different challenges for each funeral but no matter how many funerals you attend there is always a moment in the organized chaos that gives time for personal reflection. Though the team members may use the funeral planning as their coping mechanism, when the time comes for the funeral it becomes all business. A business that Josh believes is deserving of our time.
Dakota has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team since 2022. Dakota has been a deputy with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office since 2016 and currently works in the CIT Unit and is heavily involved in peer support. He was liaison between the department and family when
the sheriff’s office lost one of their own in 2021. Although the journey was emotional and difficult, Dakota was honored to make the process easier for the family and the department. He believes the most important part he and the rest of the team can play is to perform the “behind-the-scenes” legwork. This will allow the family and department more time and energy on grieving. Dakota believes that even though we may not be related, we are all family and will be treated as such. Dakota struggles during the last call for a fallen hero and does not foresee that ever getting easier.
Heather has been a member of the MOLEFAT family since 2018. She was introduced to the team after a local officer was injured in the line of duty and she felt the intense urge to help raise funds for his recovery. As a civilian, she is unable to deploy each time, she works hard to assist from home, making calls and tracking down information. Mrs. Mata has been involved in Law Enforcement for nearly 20 years. She met her husband in the police academy in 2005 and they married in 2006. Schedules and overnight shifts served as an impossible way to raise a family and so she moved on to a different career. She is currently working on an "End of Watch" booklet for each officer to fill out to relieve the stress on family members should the unimaginable occur. Although not always on site Heather feels the heartbreak and stress of her fellow team members. The last call and observing the family is the hardest part of the entire process for her. She says it is an honor to play a small part in our Hero's story and to be with the family while they navigate the unknown.
Stephanie has been a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance team since 2017. She has nearly 10 years’ experience in Communications and 2 years’ experience in Law Enforcement. Stephanie believes being a part of providing final honors to our fallen Heroes is one of the greatest ways to give back to them and their families for all the sacrifices made. Working in communications, Stephanie believes one of the most important tasks she helps handle is taking care of the operators of the grieving agency and helping prepare them for the last call. While supporting the family and the officers is absolutely important it is also just as important to remember what those on the other end of the radio are going through as well. Stephanie’s favorite part of being on the team is seeing how outside agencies take care of each other during the time of need. The biggest struggle for her is hearing the last call and the impact it has on everyone, but she believes it is important to help give that closure.