JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Charles Shinholser said he knows how the family of fallen Clay County Detective David White must feel.
White was killed during a meth lab raid Thursday night.
"They're numb. They're hurting," Shinholser said of his family.
Shinholser's son, a motorcycle patrol officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, was killed in the line of duty 23 years ago. And because of what Shinholser went through, he now works with the Northeast Florida Chapter of Concerns Of Police Survivors, or C.O.P.S.
"It saved my life," he said. "Helping somebody else helps you, and that's what C.O.P.S. is all about -- to help somebody rebuild their lives."
Shinholser said that C.O.P.S. will reach out to White's entire family, including his spouse, children and in-laws. He said the group holds montly meetings, year-round events, camps and much more for hundreds of families in this region of the state.
Shinholser said that unfortunately, those kinds of services are needed in Florida. He said that more than a dozen Florida officers were killed in the line of duty last year, the most nationwide.
"When the funeral is over, they all have to go back to their normal duties and work, so that's when the family really needs somebody to stop by," Shinholser said. "That's when they'll need somebody, after the funeral when everyone is gone and they're by themselves."
Shinholser said White's death is already affecting his own family. Two of his grandsons are deputies with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, and he said they're taking the loss hard.
He hopes he can do all he can to help the White family as they go through a very trying time.
"It affects us, it affects our family, it affects everybody, it affects everybody in the community," Shinholser said.
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