Vickie Speed is the widow of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Mitch Speed, who succumbed to job-related cancer in 2018.
When Vickie heard her husband’s diagnosis, “You have stage-4 cancer,” she knew she had to be strong, for him and for their family. For the next twenty-six months she juggled her home life and her career, while also making financial decisions and dealing with treatment options, departmental benefits, medical treatments, worker’s comp issues, and attorneys. In the face of fear, grief, confusion, and the overwhelming disruption of their lives Vickie fought alongside Mitch in his battle with cancer, only to experience the devastating loss of her life partner.
Vickie knows the demanding challenges law enforcement families encounter from their lives of service and dedication to their communities. Her journey out of the pain of her loss has blossomed into Mitch’s passion for helping others. This passion, combined with Vickie’s professional experience as an accounting and project manager for multi-million-dollar public works projects, inspired her to establish Blue Cancer Connect.
Today Vickie honors the memory of her husband by offering crucial guidance to other law enforcement families who have also heard the words, you have cancer.
Detective Mitch Speed served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for sixteen years, during which time he was publicly recognized as representing “the best of law enforcement in terms of respect for citizens, respect for his community, and a commitment to exemplary service above all else.”
In his personal life Mitch was esteemed as a loving husband, father, and mentor. After being diagnosed in 2016 with stage-4 cancer, Mitch was presented with the key to the City of Lancaster. He spent countless hours in front of his computer penning a book initially intended for family and friends. However, since its original release in 2017, Mitch Speed—The Man Behind the Badge has been reprinted multiple times after finding its way into the hands and hearts of Americans of all walks of life.
Mitch was also an accomplished musician and vocalist. During the 1990s his band, Mitch Speed and Mendin’ Fences, played to standing-room-only audiences at venues throughout California. However, his music career didn’t end when he joined the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in 2003.
Mitch was a sought-after vocalist who sang the National Anthem at community events, sporting events, and special law enforcement ceremonies. But his greatest joy came from leading worship at his church, helping others, and serving God.
Mitch Speed’s legacy of supporting and helping others is carried on by his wife, Vickie, and the organization she created in his memory. Blue Cancer Connect now assists other law enforcement officers and their families battling cancer because in this family, no one fights alone.