Officer Down began in the summer of 2002 by then Sheriff’s Officer Sean C. Lavin of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office in response to the illness and demise of Sheriff’s Detective Kevin McManimon. Kevin was diagnosed, treated and ultimately succumbed to cancer within 30 days, leaving us on June 30, 2002. Kevin left behind his widow Donna, his daughter Jessica, and his son Joe. The McManimon’s, as so many families, were not prepared emotionally or financially for this hardship. Before Kevin left us, he spoke with then PBA 187 President Mike Vasil and asked him to ensure his family was ‘taken care of.’ After hearing this, Sean with the help of Sheriff’s Officers Christina Kalm and Mike Vasil worked tirelessly and in four weeks time they arranged, organized, and with the help of Michael Langsner of KatManDu, on August 10, 2002 conducted the first ‘SummerStock’, raising $10,000 for the McManimon family. This event, as well as monies raised from other events and generously donated by PBA locals throughout the state helped significantly ease the financial burden the McManimon family faced.
Due to the events amazing success, Mike Langsner on behalf of KatManDu Trenton asked Sean, Christina, and Mike if ‘SummerStock’ could become a yearly event. After much thought and consideration, Sean, Christina, and Mike decided for ‘SummerStock’ to be a success they needed to reach out to help more of their Brother and Sister Officers. They decided to reach out to all Law Enforcement Agencies in Mercer County hoping this would be the first step to a statewide organization. This organization would help ALL Law Enforcement Officers and their families in their time of need. This organization was named ‘Officer Down, Inc.’ and was created to assist ALL permanently disabled and deceased Officers and their families. The criteria was set as any full-time Law Enforcement Officer in the State of New Jersey that was in financial need, regardless if the injury or demise occurred on duty or off and regardless of their union affiliation, Officer Down would assist them.