A documentary that examines the daily lives of law enforcement officers will be screened next week at USC Aiken, and a portion of the ticket proceeds will go toward scholarship and memorial funds in the names of fallen area officers.
“Heroes Behind the Badge” was released in 2012 and offers a glimpse into the lives of men and women in law enforcement. Narrated by Vincent D'Onofrio of TV's “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” it also examines the cases of some officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The screening will be Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Etherredge Center at USCA. As part of the documentary's campaign to support law enforcement, 50 percent of the net proceeds will go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Thirty percent of the ticket proceeds will go to local charities.
The Sandy Rogers and Scotty Richardson Scholarship will benefit. The scholarship goes to a USCA student majoring in criminal justice, and was established in memory of Aiken Public Safety officers Scotty Richardson and Sandy Rogers, who were killed in the line of duty in December 2011 and January 2012, respectively.
The J.D. Paugh Memorial Fund was established in memory of Paugh, a Richmond County sheriff's deputy who was killed in the line of duty in October 2011.
The Jason Sheppard Memorial Endowment Scholarship at USCA will also be a recipient of local proceeds. Sheppard was an Aiken County sheriff's deputy who was killed after being struck by a car while directing traffic in December 2006.
While their stories are not told, Richardson and Paugh's names are listed at the end of the film.
Jessica Roberts, a deputy with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, first heard about the documentary through Facebook. While researching the film further, she found out about the ticket proceed donations and decided she wanted to have a screening in Aiken.
“I believe it is an educational tool, not only for law enforcement but for the public,” Roberts said. “A lot of times, we can get complacent and we don't realize how dangerous it could be for us. It's a training for us, and as far as the community, it brings better realizations to what we go through and what we face every day.”
Roberts said a number of officers from Aiken Public Safety, the Sheriff's Office and surrounding law enforcement agencies are expected to be in attendance. Anyone interested can donate a ticket to a law enforcement officer or one of their family members.
Tickets can be donated for specific officers or family members, but if they do not need the ticket for any reason, it will be given to another officer or family member.
Tickets to the screening are $15 and can be purchased by calling the Etherredge Center box office at 803-641-3305, or visiting http://web.usca.edu/etherredge-center/.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012.
He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.