MOVING ON: One year later, David Glasser's family working to bridge police-community gap

It's been nearly a year since Phoenix Police officer David Glasser was killed in the line of duty, and since that tragic day, the the community has continued to rally around the officer's family, and pay tribute to his life.

 "It's so important to me to be able to use this situation for something positive, when it could very easily just ruin our lives, but I don't want to let it do that," said Kristen Glasser, who is Officer Glasser's widow.

Kristen had nothing but nice words to say about her late husband.

"He was full of love and life, and he loved friends and family, and relationships were so important to him," said Kristen.

That tragic day when the Valley lost a hero is also a day many people still remember.

"I've done ride-alongs with him, and he had worked some of the same areas for a while," said Kristen. "It was interesting during ride-alongs with him and he started to get to know some of the people in the communities that he worked in, and I just remember one lady in particular. You could tell she struggled, but when she saw him pull up in his police car and they had a little conversation, it was just very neat to see that he was building relationships, even back then, with people that were struggling."

Glasser, who was 34 years old at the time of his death, was a 12-year vet of the department. He was shot on May 18, 2016, while responding to a burglary in progress call, near 51st Avenue and Baseline Road.

Glasser died the following day, and left Kristen behind with two young children.

"They have their days too, just like I do, and we miss him terribly," said Kristen. "It's turning into more of remembering all of the good stuff and a few less sad days."

Kristen may still be dealing with Officer Glasser's passing, but she is turning the tragedy into hope - both hope for the community and hope for the officers who serve it.

"After he passed, I had this real strong, what is the reason for this. What is my purpose in all of this? Why am I in this position and what can I do positive out of all of it, because I couldn't just let it be what it was, and be a tragedy," said Kristen. "I had to make something good from it."

Recently, Kristen started the David Glasser Foundation, with a mission to bridge the gap between officers and the people they protect.

"We wanted to serve a need that wasn't already being met, and with the current situation with officers and the communities and the tensions that seem to be there, it was important to us to try and build relationships, positive interactions between officers and community members," said Kristen.

"A lot of times police officers in our communities are seen only as officers, and not as fathers and coaches and dads and husbands and brothers and friends," said Amy Davidson, President of the Board for the David Glasser Foundation. "It's so important for us and the Glasser Foundation to help put that face and person behind who our officers are. They're not just out on our streets everyday, but they go home and they have lives and so being able to translate that and create the compassion, but also empathy for what's going on in our community and again it's bridging on both sides."

Both Kristen and Davidson are planning to hold community events, especially with the youth.

"If whatever we're working on can save one officers life, because we worked with a kid that's on a wrong path, then it's all worth it." said Kristen.

The Foundation recently held its first ever golf tournament, which was sold out. The Foundation is also working on a back-to-school event, along with other things like sporting events and activities.

"The love that he shared, and his relationships, and he obviously had a love for sports and serving his community, so we tried to get all of those things into what we wanted to do with the Foundation," said Kristen.

While the Foundation is still in its beginning stages, Kristen is hopeful it will continue to grow, and more positive relationships will be developed between the police department and the community her late husband gave his all to.

"It gives me a feeling of being able to continue doing what he was doing when he was here, in just a little bit different way," said Kristen. "It's important for me for my kids to see that even in the toughest situations, we can make something good out of it. We can still help people and serve just like dad did."


David Glasser Foundation
https://www.facebook.com/GlasserFDTN/
http://davidglasserfoundation.org/

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