The Survivors Benefit Fund

 The Survivors Benefit Fund (SBF) was formed to assist the families left behind by our fallen heroes. Our mission as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization is to ensure the continual financial support for the families in their time of need – to provide for and guarantee that the fallen loved ones are never to be forgotten.

The Survivors Benefit Fund is not part of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) but, instead, is a private 501(c)(3) organization that supports the families of DEA agents, employees, and task force officers that gave their lives in the line-of-duty. Neither the DOJ nor DEA approves, endorses, or authorizes the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund, its materials, or its fundraising efforts.



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The Survivors Benefit Fund

A law enforcement officer is killed every 59 hours in the U.S., and over 66,000 law enforcement officers are assaulted each year.

As a non-profit charitable organization, the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund supports the surviving family members of DEA Agents, and employees as well as Deputized Task Force Officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

Within 24 hours of a line of duty death, a check for $20,000, plus an additional $10,000 for each dependent under 21 is delivered to the family.

These funds help offset the following expenses:

  • Funeral
  • Family transportation
  • Housing accommodations
  • Immediate family expenses

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What Can We Do?

The DEA Survivors Benefit Fund is dependent on people like you who choose to help us support the families of our fallen heroes. Your financial assistance assures that family members are taken care of, and children who have lost their fathers or mothers can still go to college and fulfill their dreams.

If a monetary donation isn’t possible, the Survivors Benefit Fund gladly accepts items for auction and donation to help raise money.

Thank you for your support and generosity.

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We’ve done a lot since our inception in 1997. But there is much more to do. Our goals include disbursing $20,000 within 24 hours of a line of duty death, plus $10,000 for each eligible child. Currently there are over 60 dependants of deceased employees that are eligible for higher education assistance; we are working diligently to assist in their future.

Here are a few accomplishments to date:

  • We’ve disbursed over $7 million in line of duty death benefits and educational expenses
  • Our computerized Honor Roll Memorials have been installed at DEA Headquarters and the DEA Training Academy to honor our agents’ sacrifices.
  • During 2017, the SBF hosted 30 fund-raising events across the country.
  • We’ve made it easy for federal employees to directly contribute by integrating into the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC Code 10113) charity.

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Future Goals

We are dedicated to increasing the Line of Duty Death Benefit to $50,000, but we need your help to reach that goal.

Paying full college tuition for children of DEA Agents and Task Force Officers killed in the line of duty is imperative. We’ve been able to help, but we need to continue to secure financial assets in order to help us remain in support.

We are also in need of expanded educational and psychological services for surviving families.

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Recent Press  

On October 7, 2018, GLOCK, Inc., of Smyrna, Ga. made a significant donation to the Drug Enforcement Administration Survivors Benefit Fund (DEASBF) at the International Association Chief's of Police (IACP) Conference in Orlando, FL. Glock National Sales Manager personally presented a check to the DEASBF.

September 6, 2018  The DEASBF has received $30,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc., the DEA foundation announced Tuesday. The  grant will help provide educational and line-of-duty death benefits to the families of DEA’s fallen.



“The DEASBF is very appreciative for the donation by the Motorola Solutions Foundation and for providing vital assistance to the families of DEA’s fallen. Motorola Solutions Foundation has donated a future to the children of our fallen heroes,” DEASBF Chairman Richard Crock stated.

 The Motorola Solutions Foundation has provided assistance to the DEASBF since 2009. “Motorola Solutions Foundation is proud to support the work of the DEASBF,” said Matt Blakely, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “As a leading technology company that supports the safety of communities worldwide, we know how important it is to educate tomorrow’s technology professionals as well as enlighten civilians and first responders on today’s safety needs.”

December 12, 2016

Joseph Strehl graduated from the St. Louis County Police Academy. Joseph was 2 when his father, Stephen Strehl, a St. Louis Police officer detached to DEA was killed in a helicopter crash. 


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"My dad was a police officer for the city of St. Louis when he was killed in the line of duty while attached to a DEA task force back in 1993. His death happened 6 days before my third birthday and having grown up without a father early on in my life was especially hard on me seeing friends spending time with their dads and having them come to school events like field trips and sporting events. It wasn’t until 9 years later when my mom remarried and my brothers had a father figure in our lives.

When it came time to start applying for colleges in high school, I began to wonder how I would pay for my education like most of my friends. I had asked my parents what I had to do so I could attend a university in the state when my mom told me that I wouldn’t deal with financial aid. She then showed me the DEA’s Survivors Benefit Fund and what the organization does along with explaining to me that my education was covered due to the fact that my dad had been a task force officer.

I am very grateful to the Survivor’s Benefit Fund for making it possible for me, as a student, not to have to worry about how I will pay for my education. With my tuition and book costs covered by the SBF, I can concentrate solely on my classes and earning good grades along with not having to worry about loans or other debt when I graduate from college.

I miss my dad every day and I know that there isn’t anything in the world that can bring him back but with the Survivor’s Benefit Fund we can always remember that there are good people willing to help out families like mine when they lose a loved one. As a junior attending Missouri State University studying Criminology hoping to someday make it to grad school, I wanted to thank everyone at the SBF and supporters for giving me the opportunity to advance my education and future endeavors."

– Joe S.

"To the wonderful people of the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund,

I just wanted to pour out my heart filled thankfulness to the people of the DEA Survivors benefit Fund. When my husband Terry died on May 28 2004, I was pregnant with our fourth baby. I was still in a state of shock and overwhelmed by the generosity and warmness of the DEA family. When I was handed a check for such a large sum of money I nearly fell to my knees but instead I cried because I felt so cared for. This money really came at a great time because checks that my husband had written before he passed were bouncing because he died a couple of days too early to receive his last paycheck. I am still very humbled by the fact that all four of my children, even my son who was not born at the time of his father’s death, will be able to go to college thanks to the Survivors Benefit Fund.

Right now my children are young, ages 10, 8, 6, and almost 4, so it will be a while before they start college but I will keep the DEA family updated.

Blessings and Love to everyone who was there for my family.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

– Debbie, Dornier, Banan, Mallory and Ross

"The Survivors Benefit Fund provides necessary support for DEA families. I am one of the children that received assistance for higher education. I am eternally grateful for their support. The support from the SBF extends beyond financial. I regularly receive phone calls from SBF volunteers on SBF activities or simply to check how I am doing. The SBF volunteers are committed to ensuring that the needs of the families of fallen DEA heroes are met during a very difficult time. It is very comforting to know that the SBF exists and is ready to act when a DEA family member needs help."

– Enrique C.

"How profoundly indebted we are to the fund and to all the participants. Thank you, once again, for your hard work and for caring what happens to us. Amanda is at Loyola in Chicago working on her nurse practitioner degree. I doubt she would have been able to do it on her own unless she borrowed a whole pile of money. She is working part time, and because of the SBF she is able to concentrate on school. What an incredible gift and opportunity you have given her! Thank you. Thank you."

– The C. Family

"A significant part of this healing was the relationship that our family developed with some wonderful agents within the Drug Enforcement Administration. Through their creativity, hard work and dedication, the DEA family created The Survivors Benefit Fund. The Everett E Hatcher Memorial Tournament is only one small fundraiser that provides aid to families, like us, whose lives were changed in the blink of an eye. For our family, it really is a wonderful way to honor their father and the memory of other agents who have given their lives to protect and serve! The greatness of this fund . . . has grown to give financial, emotional and educational support to families who have catastrophic challenges ahead of them. You were instrumental in supporting my youngest son throughout his education at Fordham University. You have been with me and behind my sons for many years. The men and women who carry on their daily jobs and work for the benefit of others should never be overlooked. They have given our family more than I can ever repay."

– Mary Jane H.

"My father was a great man who accomplished a great deal in his life and died a hero to me and my family. He not only graduated from college, but went on to law school and passed the bar in Arizona. . . . He was a hard worker, determined to do his best and to achieve his dreams. It is this resolve that I try to implement in my life. While I have not accomplished as much as he has, I have tried to make a difference in my own way. I have an active role in the university and done well in most of my classes. However, these accomplishments would probably be less and harder to accomplish without the Survivors Benefit Fund . . . even though my father is not here with me, I believe that it is his spirit that keeps me focused and driven to do my best."

– Zarina R.

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Black and Gold Pipe Band

The DEA Survivors Benefit Fund Black and Gold Pipe Band is proud to honor the sacrifices of our fallen brothers. The band is comprised of active and retired DEA Special Agents and Task Force Officers who volunteer their time and talents to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice. They are a mainstay at the DEA Memorial Service and other solemn events across the country.

“Stand the Line”
Written by: A DEA Agent

"When I hear the call of the pipes,
And the tattoo of the drums as they echo in the hills,
I will come and stand the line.
And you should know this,
That whether you stand with me or against me,
I will fight till death.
And if the Lord should decide to take me before you,
Then you should know this,
That my brothers and sons and my sisters and daughters will pick up my sword and continue to stand the line.
For oppression, anarchy and evil shall not prevail,
As long as I, stand the line
Today, let us remember those warriors who stood beside us,
Today, let us remember, we carry their swords."

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