Now is time to invest in our communities, not defund police
Cleveland, OH (June 15, 2021)—The Cleveland Police Foundation Board has determined that now is the perfect time to invest in a fundraising campaign designed to bring the Cleveland Division of Police and its officers closer to the communities they serve—transforming them from warriors to guardians, according to Rick DeChant, Foundation Executive Director. The Vision ’21 kicks off in June 2021.
“Now is not the time to defund. It’s time to invest. The Cleveland Police Foundation has established itself as the bridge between police officers and the community producing measurable results from our participation in the cultural transformation, shotspotter, summer pipeline and Heroes programs,” said Dinner.” Our advancement committee and board will lead the way in terms of obtaining funding, donors and sponsorships. The Foundation will serve as the driver for the $500,000 we wish to raise over the next two years.”
According to the Foundation, there are six critically important areas requiring financial support from the Vision ’21 campaign.
One: Implement “Cultural” Transformation in each of the Cleveland Police Districts across the city. With the community’s help, we can build on the success of the pilot program implemented in District 4 that improved internal relationships and operations helps police officers to be more empathetic and culturally responsive to the communities and neighborhoods they serve.
Two: Introduce Technology designed to fight crime on the streets, save lives and track down perpetrators. Shotspotter technology has been installed on a trial basis in a high crime area to pinpoint the location of gun shots via sensitive audio equipment enabling rapid response that is already saving lives and taking weapons out of our neighborhoods.
Three: Address the demographic and gender diversity on the force. Our Safety Career Pipeline Program engages high school students in underserved areas to equip them with the skills necessary for successful careers in public safety. The program closes the gap between graduation and the eligibility age to apply for police division opportunities—thus creating a “pipeline of qualified” candidates.
Four: Expand the interaction between police officers and citizens through supporting Community Policing activities such as “Fishing with Cops” that draws hundreds of children to experience Lake Erie—often for the first time.
Five: Increase the capacity for Police Charities including the Police Athletic League, Cops for Kids, Cleveland Mounted Police, Pipes & Drums and Honor Guard to better support Community Policing efforts.
Six: Support the welfare and mental health of Cleveland Police Officers who face incredible stressful circumstances in pursuit of their duties. Our signature Heroes Fund provides support of families and special considerations for fallen officers and their dependents.
The Cleveland Police Foundation has developed an integrated marketing communications campaign that will include public relations, direct mail, digital marketing, collateral, speaker’s bureau and grant writing initiatives.
“Now, we will be reaching out to corporations, foundations and individuals who want to invest in Cleveland’s police officers and our communities to make them closer than we have ever been,” DeChant concluded. “In today’s world, there is less and less support for our men and women in blue. The Cleveland Police Foundation is not a part of the Cleveland Police Department. We are a completely separate organization dedicated to helping police officers with their unfunded needs and underwriting programs designed to improve the way police interacts with the community and changing how the community views our police force. It is a mission we wholeheartedly embrace.”