Alexandria The words “passion and caring for the community” can best describe the effort put forth by Arlington resident Karen L. Bune. Ms. Bune has been in the forefront of a region- wide fund raising campaign to provide relief and support for Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy and his family. Earlier this year, Officer Laboy made a traffic stop after a report of a person acting suspiciously in the Old Town section of Alexandria. Before he could even get off his motorcycle, he was shot in the head by the suspect.
Fortunately, due to the rapid response and quick assistance from Alexandria Fire/EMS units on the scene, Laboy survived. However, his life and that of his family will never be the same. He has had to undergo myriad and expensive medical procedures. In the aftermath of this terrible incident, many public safety agencies and the community in general have bonded together to provide support and financial assistance to Officer Laboy.
As for Ms. Bune she deserves special mention. Ms. Bune has had a long and distinguished career in public service; most notably as a “victim specialist” working with prosecuting attorneys in local offices in Virginia and Maryland. She is also an adjunct professor at local Virginia universities. Her accomplishments are too numerous to mention.
Ms. Bune thought of the idea to create a badge pendant in honor of Officer Laboy and to raise money for his family. She developed the words for both plates of the badge. The top plate reads, “Superman,” which signifies Laboy’s nickname for having survived and for his favorite character hero. The bottom plate she devised reads, “Motor 8” which is his call sign.
Ms. Bune proposed her idea to a friend, Vicki Forness, the owner of B&C Jewelers in the Bradlee Shopping Center, and asked her if she would be willing to collaborate and partner with her for this endeavor and to have all proceeds go to the Laboy family. Ms. Forness agreed and ordered the sterling silver badges. She even does the engraving for free.
Ms. Bune created a flier that a kind donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, had made into placards that are posted around the region. The owner of National Art and Framing in the Bradlee Shopping Center also assisted her by making posters as a donation for the effort.
Ms. Bune has been relentless in this fund-raising project that she developed, and her untiring efforts have not gone unnoticed. She has always had a passion and caring for the community far beyond most professionals in the field. We must give Ms. Bune praise and credit and, most importantly, a “thank you” for caring.
Note: The Laboy badge pendants are available at B&C Jewelers in Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria. They sell for $47.50 and all proceeds to go the Laboy family.
Charles Flinn III
Captain, (Ret.) Prince Georges County, Maryland Fire/EMS Department