ST. LOUIS — For Chief Ron Battelle, his life has been one of service to his community. But after 20 years as executive director of The BackStoppers, Chief Battelle has announced he will retire on January 1, 2025.

“I’m retiring as executive director but I still have a connection, help them out in different ways, stay in touch with the families and take advantage of those relationships we’ve established over the years,” says Chief Ron Battelle, Executive Director of The BackStoppers.

Chief Battelle worked his way up through the St. Louis County Police Department to become chief. He retired after nearly 40 years in 2004 and immediately began running the organization, which has supported more than 180 families and is currently extending aid to about 95 families with 70 dependent children.

McDonald’s fundraising after 15-year-old employee beaten by customer

“His extraordinary dedication, leadership and empathy have had a really big impact on this organization,” says John Capps, President, Board of Directors, The BackStoppers.  “One of the big pieces of his news is that he’s agreeing to stay on and do the transition and help the new director hire.”

During the last 20 years, The BackStoppers coverage area expanded from 12 counties in Missouri and Illinois to 28, assisting more than 130 families of fallen and catastrophically injured heroes with vital assistance and adding an education fund with a substantial expansion of services.

“One of the first things they’ll say is, ‘How are my kids going to go to college or high school?” says Battelle.  “’They lived for that to go to that private high school or college and how are they going to be able to go there?’  And I say, ‘They’re going to go where they want to go.’”

This September 11th, the non-profit organization that began helping the families of fallen first responders grappling with the immense challenges of loss and hardship will celebrate its founding in 1959.

This exceptional individual will be joining them.