GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Laurie Reinacher, the founder and executive director of The Thin Blue Line of Michigan, lost her battle with cancer July 19 at age 56. It’s been a huge loss to the law enforcement community.
The Thin Blue Line is an organization helping law enforcement and their families and other agencies when an officer is killed or injured on duty.
Reinacher helped the Grand Rapids Police Department and family of Officer Robert Kozminski when he was killed in the line of duty in 2007.
“She was uplifting,” Officer Kurt Hintz said. “We can get through this. You don`t forget. You just remember and get through it.”
Reinacher saw a need after losing her husband - a Michigan State Police Trooper - in the line of duty. That’s when she created the organization - dedicating her life to providing financial, legal, funeral, medical and other assistance.
“You’d just be lost. You just need a point of where to start - and who knows what they’re doing - and that`s what Laurie always was,” Hintz said.
She was constantly traveling throughout the state, to be there for every police department's family in their time of need, even after being diagnosed with cancer two years ago.
“Even if she didn`t know you she was there for you and your family,” Hintz said. “It`s like she knew you your whole life.”
Described as selfless and kind but also persistent, Reinacher kept working in her final days.
“It’s going to be hard to find somebody who was so powerful, so passionate about what she did,” Hintz said.
Those touched by Laurie want to remember her spirit and her mission.
“She was always positive, even though she was sick the last two years of her life with cancer, really bad, she always had a smile on her face she was always positive,” Hintz said.
Family asks donations in Laurie Reinacher's memory be made to The Thin Blue Line of Michigan.