In the fall of 2014, while Austin Glickman was a police recruit in the New York City Police Academy, he was faced first-hand with the stress that officers around the country deal with on a daily basis. His time in the academy was during the height of a media-fed firestorm of lies against law enforcement officers following the deaths of Eric Gardner, Freddy Gray and Michael Brown.
Glickman, now a police officer with the NYPD for 4 years in Harlem, took to the internet to research events which allowed officers and their families the ability to de-stress and “get away from the job”.
The only problem was that his research came up empty.
“I couldn’t find a single event which really allowed officers and their peers the ability to relax and unwind while surrounded by both their blood and blue family,” said Glickman. “So I took it upon myself to develop one”.
Glickman is the founder of Law Enforcement Officers Weekend, a three-day weekend event which is held each year during Father’s Day Weekend in Lake George, New York. The event is open to all active and retired law enforcement officers throughout the country, including their families and friends. The event hosts an array of activities such as shooting competitions, seminars, boat cruises, K9 demonstrations, miniature golf, concerts, comedy shows, vintage police car display and much more.
“The event has something for everyone at every age. Lake George is the perfect place to hold the event; family friendly, great amenities, and most importantly, the locals and business owners are pro law enforcement,” he said.
The weekend is stacked with so many activities, “it’s literally impossible to do everything,” says Glickman. “The great thing about LEO Weekend is that our attendees get to decide what they want to do. They have the freedom to pretty much design their own vacation around our activities.”
The event is not just a fun getaway for officers and their families. LEO Weekend also hosts families of officers killed in the line of duty.
“Aside from putting on this spectacular event, we also raise money each year to bring multiple families of fallen law enforcement officers to the weekend for an all-inclusive vacation. We pay for their hotel rooms, meals and special activities through donations from local businesses and online donations via GoFundMe,” he said.
Most recently, LEO Weekend hosted the families of deceased Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo and Detective Miosotis Family, whom where both killed last year in the Bronx. Most notably, Detective Familia’s death made national headlines when she was assassinated in the Bronx on July 5th, 2017.
“We’ve hosted 4 families so far since our inaugural event in 2017. I don’t think the impact of having the families as our guests really hit me until Genesis Familia told me that we gave her and her 2 younger siblings their childhood back. She said last year their mother’s death stripped them of being children. Their lives were turned upside down. LEO Weekend provided them the ability to be kids again,” said Glickman as he held back some tears.
“Being able to watch the Tuozzolo boys run around our boat in the middle of the lake during our dinner cruise really put a smile on my face. I knew all the hard work by the amazing team I’ve got working with me really paid off.”
Law Enforcement Officers Weekend is currently planning its 3rd Annual event which will be held June 14-16, 2019.
“We had a 30% increase in registrations between 2017 and 2018. I really think we can double our attendance for our 2019 event,” said Glickman.
“We had well over 350 people participate throughout the weekend in 2018 which included officers of all ranks from federal, state and local agencies. We just need help spreading the word. I promise that once you attend, it’ll become an annual outing for you and your family. You’ll just need to trust me and the hundreds of others who’ve taken the chance over the past 2 years.”
The 2019 event is slated to have a bunch of new attractions for the attendees and their guests. Between BBQs and fishing, water sports to rollercoasters, how can you go wrong? If you’ve ever walked “The Thin Blue Line”, you need to register and take the chance on having a fun, relaxing weekend. The reviews from past attendees have been solid. This is an event you don’t want to miss.
Oh, and rumor has it… Kyle Reyes, the founder of The Whiskey Patriots and the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today, will be giving a keynote… and Dave Bray USA will be rocking out.
To register and learn more about the event, click here.
Here are some highlights that the crew at The Silent Partner Marketing, the production arm of The Whiskey Patriots, caught at this year’s event.