Widow of fallen Concord police officer Jason Shuping carries on his legacy
Haylee Shuping stays busy with efforts to help others while honoring husband’s memory and sacrifice
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The dawning of December brings painful memories for one local woman. Haylee Shuping is the widow of fallen Concord Police Officer and Rowan County native Jason Shuping.
Shuping was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect in December of 2020. In the two years following that tragedy, Haylee Shuping has found purpose in her pain.
“Today is December the 1st so today, you know, is a very hard day, it’s going to be a very hard month but I really just try to focus on finding support with my friends and family and the community as well and continuing on an honoring his legacy as well,” Haylee Shuping said.
She added that she has been encouraged by all the support she has received over the last two years.
“It’s been absolutely incredible to see the support,” Shuping added. “It has not let up either. I found a lot of friends within the law enforcement community throughout other departments as well and meeting some of the other police wives and it’s been really great just to have that support and knowing that I have those friendships to really depend on right now, especially now.”
She wants to keep her husband’s legacy alive, and one of the ways she’s doing that is through a scholarship she established at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
Haylee Shuping says that she and Jason had actually talked about what they could do to help deserving students who wanted to become law enforcement officers. She says she knows Jason would be happy about what came from those conversations.
“I established the Officer Jason Shuping Public Safety Scholarship at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to award deserving Basic Law Enforcement Training students, you know, access, more financial access to the program, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to take part in the program, which also adds new law enforcement talent to Rowan and Cabarrus counties,” Shuping said.
“It meant a lot for me to establish that and that was something that we had talked about too when he was alive that we wished there was something to help students, so that’s why I wanted to let that not be a barrier for students entering public safety because they give so much to the profession.”
It’s important to honor Jason Shuping’s legacy, Haylee says, and she’s been busy doing that for the last two years.
There was the bridge dedication over I-85, the dedication of the Concord Police Fallen Officers memorial last December, and a visit to the White House in May where President Biden posthumously honored Jason with the Medal of Valor for his heroic actions on December 16, 2020, even at the cost of his own life.
“It was an absolute surreal experience,” Shuping said. “Just to be able to meet the president, be at the White House, it was absolutely incredible. I was so honored just to be there and knowing tat the country appreciates Jason’s heroic actions that night and appreciates the sacrifices he made, it just, tremendously honored for him to have that recognition, I just wish he had been there to have that for himself.”
She spends time with families of lost police officers, organizes and attends events in Jason’s memory, and she’s even started her own company.
“I have also created a new business, Liberty & Company Apparel and Tactical as well to promote women’s gun safety and self-reliance and adding conceal carry wear to the market, it’s such a male-dominated market.”
Shuping is doing all of this while pursing an MBA from Wake Forest University and planning to go to law school. Those things, Haylee says, will help her to grow and find new ways to do what’s most important to her.
“I just want to continue his legacy and service, you know, and what he gave to the community. We didn’t have any children so it means a lot for me to just carry this on so the community may never forget his sacrifice,” Shuping said.
Shuping also recently appeared on the BBC Breakfast Show in the United Kingdom.
The UK, Shuping says, does not have a public service medal or honor that would be equivalent to the Medal of Valor given to Jason Shuping posthumously and to three other Concord Police Officers who were with Shuping on December 16, 2020.
She says a British broadcaster is lobbying Parliament to create such a distinction, and he wanted to speak with Haylee about what the honor has meant to her.
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