Executing memorial expeditions around
the world is not a simple task, and the costs associated with doing so
are covered in large part by the companies that sponsor Cops on Top.
From equipment to travel and lodging costs, we salute our primary
Cops on Top is grateful and proud to
be sponsored by The North Face,
makers of an extensive line of performance apparel, equipment and
footwear; and The
Force, makers of fine law enforcement and public safety uniforms.
Both companies are subsidiaries of VF
What Cops on Top is All About:
Cops on Top has a strong commitment to provide tangible
aid for the grieving and healing process of those who have lost a beloved
officer, to support organizations dedicated to this cause, and to project
a positive image of law enforcement officers. We honor, and raise
awareness, for police officers who have been killed while protecting
and serving their communities.
Cops on Top plans annual climbing expeditions to the
world's most respected mountains. The purpose is to bring to the
public's attention the dangers, stress and life-altering effects on the average police officer. A fallen officer's memory serves
as our banner and a memorial is placed on each summit attempted.
The Cops on Top team is comprised of volunteer climbers,
largely self-funded law enforcement officers. Volunteers are welcome to
contact Cops on Top. The fallen officers on whose behalf the climbs are
undertaken are nominated by family, friends, and law enforcement
The Origin of Cops on Top:
Cops on Top was founded by Sergeant Keith McPheeters
of the Farmington New Mexico Police Department. In 1998,
Sergeant McPheeters was a member of that agency's Special Response
Team searching for the killers of Cortez Colorado Police Officer
Dale Claxton. The manhunt was the largest of its kind in
American history and conducted in the remote Southwestern United
States Four-Corners region of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and
Arizona. During those months, McPheeters reflected on the
nature of his occupation, the public's perception of a police
officer's work, and the effect such a loss has on an officer's
survivors. From these thoughts, the concept of Cops on Top
The inaugural expedition in 1999 was in memory of Officer
Claxton, and McPheeters chose Denali (Mount McKinley), Alaska for the
team's first climb.
on Top returned to Denali in 2001 to successfully reach the summit in
memory of Washington State Trooper James Saunders.
On September 11th 2002,
2004 expedition members
made multiple simultaneous climbs to high point around the country to
memorialize the Fire and Police personnel who lost their lives in the
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
January 2004, team members summited the highest peak in the
western hemisphere, Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, in memory of Marine Staff Sergeant James W.
Cawley - a Salt Lake City Police Department Detective and SWAT team
member, killed during a firefight while serving in Iraq - as well as
other officers who gave their lives protecting others.
January 2005, team members summited the highest peak in
Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in memory of
Espinoza of the San Francisco Police Department.
June 2005, team members once
again summited the highest peak in
North America, Denali, in memory of Officers Eric White and Jason Wolfe
of the Phoenix Police Department.
About this Site:
This web site contains extensive information about each of
the expeditions; team members, climbing itineraries, equipment lists,
menus, and trip logs. Cops on Top is honored that much of the
information is used as a reference for other expedition teams, and that we
are listed as a link on some of the most respected mountaineering web
sites on the internet.
Your Support is Appreciated:
Cops on Top maintains the highest integrity with respect
to all fiscal matters of the team. All sponsorships, donations,
receipts, and disbursements are recorded and reported. All donations under
the Cops on Top name should be made directly to the organization. If you
have questions about making donations or if you question the purpose of
any person who has solicited your donation and wish to confirm its
please contact us.