Arlington Police support group makes sure families are never left behind

10-7 Outdoors is a charitable organization that offers support to children of fallen officers

  • 10-7 Outdoors is a charitable organization that has helped the families of fallen officers -- like April Key and her family (pictured) -- by providing opportunities for their children to go on hunting and fishing trips. (Photo: April Key)
    10-7 Outdoors is a charitable organization that has helped the families of fallen officers -- like April Key and her family (pictured) -- by providing opportunities for their children to go on hunting and fishing trips. (Photo: April Key)
  • Seth Key was afforded the chance to go hunting with a police officer by the 10-7 Outdoors organization. (Photo: April Key)
    Seth Key was afforded the chance to go hunting with a police officer by the 10-7 Outdoors organization. (Photo: April Key)
  • Seth Key was presented a certificate by the Arlington Police Department for taking part in the 10-7 Outdoors program. (Photo: April Key)
    Seth Key was presented a certificate by the Arlington Police Department for taking part in the 10-7 Outdoors program. (Photo: April Key)
  • (Photo: April Key)
    (Photo: April Key)
Charles Swanigon

The loss of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty is devastating to everyone that knew them, but especially so for their children.

That’s why three enterprising members of the Arlington Police Department took it open themselves to create a charitable organization to offer support to the children of fallen officers.

10-7 Outdoors was started in 2014 by Arlington police officers Mike Bali, Kris Caldwell and Justin Leathers. Between the three, they have 50 years of experience in police work.

During that time, they have lost fellow officers and seen the impact it has on a family. They started 10-7 Outdoors to make sure those families are never forgotten.

10-7 Outdoors -- named for the police code that indicates an officer is Out Of Service -- offers support to those youngsters by offering them opportunities to go on fishing and hunting trips

According to their Facebook page, the goal of 10-7 is “to not only provide a great outdoor experience for these kids, but to teach them about firearm safety, hunting techniques, hunting ethics, wildlife management, and many more valuable topics.” 

“Losing a loved one is hard, but when that loved one is a police officer who was killed in the line of duty, its magnified,” Bali said. “We wanted to come up with something to take care of our co-workers -- something to take care of our own.”

April Key lost her husband, Grayson County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Key on April 20, 2013. Chad and other deputies answered a call to assist in directing traffic.

While asking motorists to slow down, Deputy Key was struck by a drunk driver. He left behind his wife, April, and their three children.

10-7 Outdoors reached out to April and asked if they would be interested in participating in one of their trips. She agreed to let her oldest son Seth go.

That was two years ago. They have since gone on other trips and they stay in constant contact.

“From the moment they showed up, they have always been there,” April Key said. “It started out as an organization reaching out, but they have become family.”

To date, 10-7 has honored 19 families. The families pay nothing for these outings, and the officers lead these outings on their own time.

They also have fundraisers like their Thin Blue Line Gala. The ball will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Mopac Event Center in Fort Worth.

There are a few seats left and sponsorships are available. All the money from this event and all their fundraising goes directly to the charity.

Without the community’s support, 10-7 Outdoors would not be able to do what it does.

To make a donation, or for more information about the Thin Blue Line Gala and 10-7, visit their website.