SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As a community continues to mourn the loss of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield, who was killed in the line of duty on Monday, Sept. 9, some are looking for ways to honor his memory.
Brian Harris, A deputy sheriff from Southern California posted a link on memorial Facebook page for Trooper Butterfield.
The link takes you to his business website, survivalcord.net. The braided cords are billing as memorial bracelets that are built to last.
Deputy Harris said he’s working around the clock to fill orders for Trooper Butterfield.
Harris started this side business a year ago as a way to save money for his son’s college education. Originally he started out by selling bracelets for local sports teams.
In January, his life and business changed. A fellow K9 handler for a local police department, Kevin Tonn was shot and killed on the job. Harris said he wanted to give something to those who were close to officer Tonn.
“I wanted to memorialize Kevin’s memory,” he said. “So I created a bracelet and put a metal stamp on it.”
It was then, Harris said, he realized he could help others in their time of grief.
“When they look down at it, it’s got the name of a loved one, a co-worker, friend, or family member and I think it really helps people mourn,” he said.
It also raises money for the Heroes Memorial Foundation. The foundation is a charity designed to help build long-lasting memorials for the fallen.
Harris said 33% to 40% of the $15 bracelets go to charity. He’s heard the critics who said no one should profit from a tragedy and said he understands that point of view
“It helps raise money that maybe otherwise wouldn’t be raised,” argues Harris. “So I look at it like that. It helps people in the mourning process and raises money for various funds.”
“As somebody in law enforcement who has seen the death of a co-worker, it’s bittersweet. I’m happy in a sense to do it. I would like for there to be no more work to do in this arena, unfortunately that is just not the case.”
Harris said he is now working on completing an order for the MSP troopers of the Lansing post.
“To the family and co-workers of Trooper Butterfield, just to know that you have an entire nation that actually knows about what’s happened and we talk about it and feel your loss,” he said.
If a survival cord is not for you but you still would like to honor Trooper Butterfield’s memory the Michigan State Troopers Assistance Fund has set up a “Paul Butterfield Memorial”. All money donated specifically to that memorial will be used at the request of the Butterfield family.
The MSTAF asks that all donations be mailed to:
1715 Abbey Rd. Ste. B
East Lansing, MI 48823