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Tucson group reaches out to families affected by Dallas shooting

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jul 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 08:23:37-04
July 7th, 2016, five police officers in Dallas, Texas didn't know the start of day would be the end of watch. Shots rang out from a lone gunman and five officers would lose their lives.
 
As the country watched in horror, a similar pain came back to life for two women in Tucson.
 
"You just get sick to your stomach because you know how devastated and how much their world had changed," said Jan Blaser-Upchurch. 
 
Jan and Sherry Graham-Potter are surviving spouses of fallen officers in Southern Arizona. Sergeant John Blaser with DPS and deputy Timothy Graham with Pima County were both killed in the line of duty. 
 
"My husband was sergeant John Blaser and he was 36-years-old when he was run over by a drunk driver," said Jan.
 
"He was killed in 2005, on August 10th, he was trying to detain a suspect who managed to get away," said Sherry. "A taxi cab driver pulled over and tried to help him detain the suspect. while they were fighting a truck driver hit and killed all three of them on scene."
 
In their times of tragedy they turned to Concerns of Police Survivors.
 
"It was devastating when he was killed suddenly," said Jan. "It took a long time but COPS organization was really helpful for me in trying to find my new world again."
 
Now, they're using their experience to help others. The COPS Tucson chapter reached out to the Dallas Police Department to help those families of survivors. The cops organization offers help with funeral costs and counseling -- letting those grieving families know they're not alone. 
 
"It's a long journey," said Sherry.  "It's as painful journey. but we are here to help. We are here to do what we can do support these officers. And it affects officers across the country it not just the Dallas Police Department."
 
"It's just devastating," said Jan. "To know that that whole agency and those families are going through the devastation of learning for the first time that their world is changed forever."