Fundraisers helping injured officer and his family

Officer Brian Arterburn (Courtesy: Wichita Police Department)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been more than two weeks since Wichita Police Officer Brian Arterburn was run over by a stolen SUV. Now, several events are planned this weekend to raise money for Arterburn’s family and his medical expenses.

One of the fundraisers wrapped up about 9 p.m. Friday night at Distillery 244 in Old Town. Several hundred people turned out to volunteer their time and offer up their money, all in hopes of giving Arterburn and his family a helping hand in their time of need.

Wichita Police Sgt. Lenny Rose has known Brian Arterburn since he joined the department 23 years ago. That’s why it really hit home when he learned what had happened to his friend.

“It was devastating, it really is, you don’t to think about that it could happen to somebody you know, somebody you care about,” said Rose.

The Wichita Police Department and Coffee with a Cop joined forces to hold a fundraising dinner where 50 percent of the proceeds would go toward helping Officer Arterburn.

“It’s very crucial to help out with the family, there are costs that people just don’t think about until you’ve had some type of tragedy where you’ve had long term care or long-term stays in the hospital,” Rose said.

The support for Arterburn is coming from near and far.

Perry Lambert is the chief of the Cherryvale Police Department north of Coffeyville. While he doesn’t know Arterburn personally, he felt the need to not only make the nearly three-hour drive to Wichita, but also to volunteer his time to help out.

“It doesn’t matter what your badge says, what your department is, doesn’t matter what state you’re in, we are all in this together, so, one of us hurts,we all hurt,” Lambert said.

Whether it was donations brought in or raised during the event, organizers said every little bit helps.

“There here to serve us, help us in anything we need, we should be there to help them when they’re in a time of need as well,” said Michael Pasco, one of the event’s organizers.

And, Sgt. Lenny Rose agrees.

“It shows the great support we have, not just for law enforcement, but for human beings in general.”

The Wichita Police Department has directed citizens to use Honore Adversis at www.thin-blue-line.org or visit the fundraising events in person if they would like to donate to Arterburn.

There are several more events scheduled for Saturday geared toward helping the Arterburn family.  Coffee with a Cop will be held at the Starbucks at Towne East Square from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and the Wichita Wagonmasters are holding a chili feed in Old Town Square Saturday that starts at 11 a.m.