Police Foundation: Community Outreach Programs

The last quarter of each year brings a lot of activity to the Police Foundation.

It all starts in early October as we partner with a local company, this year Allied Universal Security Services, to co-sponsor “National Night Out Against Crime” or NNO. This year’s National Night Out was held on Friday, October 6th in the City’s Municipal Complex on Burns Road. The event was a family affair with food vendors, games for the kids, static displays of trucks and of course a number of exhibits and demonstrations by the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department as well as Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue, Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Forestry and others. Highlights seemed to be the Police SWAT team demonstration, the four Police K9’s and their handlers, the children’s SWAT obstacle course, the Crime Scene Experience and of course the landing of the Sheriff’s helicopter. The evening is designed to enhance the relationship between law enforcement and the community – and by all accounts was very successful in doing so. Crowd size varies but a conservative estimate puts the number of people there at well over 2,000.

A mere two weeks later came the 10th Annual Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation Golf Tournament.

After a fabulous pre-event reception at Brio Tuscan Grille in The Gardens Mall, nearly 200 avid golfers descended the next morning on both the Champion and the Fazio courses at the PGA National Resort. The Presenting Sponsor this year was Click2FindLocal.com, the Internet’s Local Neighborhood Directory headquartered in Riviera Beach. The Platinum sponsor was United Technologies. Both Click2FindLocal.com and United Technologies have been sponsors of our event for a number of years. Following a hearty breakfast, the golfers headed out to their golf carts where they found a well packed gift bag before driving out to their assigned tees. The Tournament was an outstanding event and raised the funds needed to support a number of youth programs in the city including our Palm Beach Gardens Police Explorer Post, the Ball Stars Youth Basketball Camp, the Suits for (HS) Seniors program and other youth related projects.

It’s worthy of note that our PBG Police Explorer Post finished FIRST in the Regional Explorer competition this past summer and SECOND in the entire 2017 State of Florida competition. Well done Officer Sharon and your team of Explorer advisors! And of course, congratulations to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Explorers themselves for their commitment and dedication to training. Many of them will make fine Police Officers in the years to come.

November brings a bit of a respite for the Foundation itself, but not for everyone. The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department Honor Guard will be participating in the Veterans Day Ceremony on Saturday November 11th at 11:00 AM. The event honors those who have served and those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. And hopefully everyone will be celebrating a fabulous Thanksgiving Day on November 23rd. The Police Foundation hopes that your homes will be filled with laughter and happiness as we celebrate Thanksgiving and throughout the coming year.

In December, the Police Foundation will once again conduct its annual campaign. The funds raised each year go to ensuring that the men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have the Equipment, Training and Technology they need to keep us safe at home, at work and as we shop and enjoy this wonderful part of the world in which we live. With nearly 90% of the City’s Police budget going to support personnel and ongoing operational costs, the Police Foundation’s role is to raise additional funds for those items not covered in the budget.

Please keep an eye on your mailbox for our mailing… and be as generous as you can be to help ensure we continue to have the finest Police Department in all of South Florida.

Remember, It takes a community effort to keep us safe.

 

Tom Murphy was elected president and CEO of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation, Inc. in 2007. Before helping to form the Foundation, he was a marketing executive with the IBM Corporation and earlier a member of the Nassau County (NY) Police Department.

Police Foundation: Upcoming Activities and Events

As we roll into the final quarter of 2017, the Police Foundation still has several major activities and events scheduled before closing out a very successful year.

Youth programs in Palm Beach Gardens are a major activity of the Foundation. Besides ensuring that our Police Officers have the Equipment, Training and Technology they need to keep our City safe, we focus on community outreach and youth programs.

Building positive relationships between the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and the community as a whole means supporting proactive and preemptive programs with not only the youth who live within the City of Palm Beach Gardens but also the thousands who come into the City each day for school, after-school and social activities.

The funding for much of our youth programs comes from our Annual Foundation Golf Tournament. Now in its 10th year, this year’s tournament will be held at the PGA National Resort on Saturday, October 28th. Played on both the Champion Course (home of the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic) and the fabulous Fazio Course, we’ll see over 200 golfers of every level competing for numerous awards and prizes. The tournament is preceded by a wine and appetizer reception at the wonderful Brio Tuscan Grille in The Gardens Mall. The major sponsor of this year’s event is click2findLocal.com the Internet’s Local Neighborhood Yellow Page Business Listing Directory. (more Tournament information at golf.pbgpf.org)

Helping to ensure that our Officers have what they need to protect not only themselves but the community at large, the Foundation kicks off its Annual Fund-Raising Campaign at the end of November each year. Reaching out to the 30,000+ residences and businesses within the City, we are grateful of the support that is shown toward the brave men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department. Donations allow us to fund the purchase of K9 dogs, ballistic shields and vests, forensic and predictive policing software, specialized training and more. Your financial support is an Investment in a Safe City.

Continuing our focus on youth, the end of the year also brings about our Annual Foundation Holiday Joy Drive. Now in its 16th year, the Joy Drive provides gifts to local underprivileged children and families and continues our efforts to help those in need. A concerted effort of our Police Officers, Fire Fighters, city staff, volunteers and local businesses, the event reaches out to well over 1,500 children and families who are somewhat less fortunate and struggling during difficult economic times. Several locations within the City will be designated as collection points for the drop-off of gifts. Local businesses interested in partnering with the Police Foundation on this year’s event are urged to contact the Foundation office at (561) 799-4440.

The Foundation provides support for numerous community initiatives, special events, and programs that enable our Police Officers to create and sustain partnerships, promote crime prevention, and recognize outstanding service. Programs such as the Police Explorers, the K-9 Unit, the Joy Drive, the Herb and Penny Wender Scholarship and our Officers’ Tuition Reimbursement program are just a few of the areas supported by donations to the Foundation.

We all must recognize that crime prevention is a job for everyone – not just the police – and that we all have an important role to play in that effort.

Tom Murphy was elected president and CEO of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation, Inc. in 2007. Before helping to form the Foundation, he was a marketing executive with the IBM Corporation and earlier a member of the Nassau County (NY) Police Department.

Police Foundation: 10th Annual Golf Tournament

Ensuring that the men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have the equipment, training and technology they need to keep us safe is the primary mission of the Police Foundation. But with the generous support of our residents and business owners, we are able to support a number of Community Outreach programs specifically aimed at our youth. These programs are designed to promote personal growth, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism.

During the summer months, we sponsored the “Ball Stars Youth Camp” at Palm Beach Gardens High School. Attending the free camp were 125 youth in two separate age groups. They spent part of their time learning to dribble the ball down the court, do push-ups, and shoot hoops before they settled into the bleachers for talks on social media safety, respect and discipline, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, bullying, and financial responsibility. Throughout the day uniformed Palm Beach Gardens Police Officers bantered with the participants on the sidelines in a very positive environment. The camp is conducted by former NBA All-Star Otis Birdsong and Micheal Ray Richardson, formerly with both the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

In the fall, the Foundations conducts our Annual Police Foundation Golf Tournament. This will be the 10th Annual Golf Tournament and as it has from the beginning, all funds raised by the Tournament are used to support the Palm Beach Gardens Police Explorer Post and local youth programs such as the Ball Stars Youth Camp, Suits for (HS) Seniors, Special Olympics and other programs focused on the character development of our young adults.

This year’s Golf Tournament will be held at the PGA National Resort on both the Champion course, home of The Honda Classic, and the newly reconfigured Fazio course, which has a layout designed for a day of enjoyable golf. The event is preceded by a wine and appetizer evening sponsored by and held at Brio Tuscan Grille in The Gardens Mall.

More than 40 sponsors at different levels show their support of this event each year and the Foundation would certainly not be able to conduct the Tournament without them. We are always very appreciative of their ongoing support of Foundation programs.

After the enjoyable evening at Brio, the golfers start the next day with registration and breakfast in the Grand Ballroom of the PGA Resort and Spa. At 8:30 AM they head out for a full 18-hole round of golf on the course they have pre-selected and then finish off the day’s enjoyment with a delicious awards-luncheon, raffle draw and silent auction in the Grand Ballroom. An outstanding start to the weekend for all… and a terrific way for corporations and individuals to help insure the future of our community by supporting local youth programs.

For more information on the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation Golf Tournament visit golf.pbgpf.org or call the Foundation office at (561) 799-4440. Sponsorships as well as player slots are still available as of the date this article was written. But act fast. This event sells out every year and we are seldom able to clear the wait-list.

 

Tom Murphy is a resident of PGA National and has been president of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation, Inc. since 2007.  Before helping to form the foundation, he was a marketing executive with the IBM Corporation and earlier a member of the Nassau County (NY) Police Department.

Police Foundation: Be Leery of Charity Telemarketers

Let me begin this article with a simple statement: The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation never uses telephone solicitations at any time.

You’ll find this statement on the Foundations website, on most of our mailings, and our regular email newsletters.  It’s been a premise of the organization since the Foundation was formed back in 2007.

When the federal government allowed Americans to finally enjoy dinner in peace without being hassled by unwanted phone calls from telemarketers and passed the “do-not-call legislation”, they exempted politicians as well as non-profit organizations.  Since most telemarketing firms therefore lost their for-profit accounts they turned to non-profit organizations for new business.

Here in Florida some of the most common telemarketing calls we receive are for the firefighters, the sheriff, the police, the highway patrol, the state troopers, the paramedics, the hurricane relief fund, the fund to send care packages to our troops, and on and on. 

The callers typically go into a long discourse about how money is so sorely needed to provide services at the current levels, or pull the emotional strings of how our troops go without so much to protect our freedom and we really should give them a little help.

While much of what these telemarketers may be true, an extremely small fraction of the monies these companies raise actually goes to the cause they claim to be fundraising for. The calls typically come from for-profit professional telemarketers, often out of state, that keep a sizeable portion of your donation for themselves and their corporations and truly care very little about the cause they are promoting. These companies will also get to you by saying it is “easier and safer” to take care of your donation by giving them your credit card.  

There are a number of things we should be doing when we receive these telemarketing calls:

  • Find out if the person with whom you are speaking is a volunteer or employee of the charity they claim to represent – or if they actually work for a telemarketing company.
  • Ask the person on the other end of the phone line to tell you how much of your donation will actually end up with the charity. By law, they must tell you.  These telemarketers negotiate their fees ahead of time and know exactly how much of every dollar raised goes to the charity and how much stays with
     the telemarketing company … and they typically keep 80+% of each dollar raised!
  • Ask the person calling to send you a copy of the charity’s annual report or a brochure describing its mission and accomplishments. Effective and efficient charities are proud of their accomplishments and are able to provide written materials describing their mission, program accomplishments, and financial information.
  • Ask them such things as, “do you have a website,” or “do you have another phone number I can call to verify the legitimacy of your organization?”
  • If you determine that the telemarketer is calling you on behalf of a charity that you truly wish to support, contact the charity itself and find out how to donate to it directly. That way you avoid having any part of your donation taken by a for-profit telemarketing company.
  • Never give out credit card, bank account, or other personal information to telemarketers over the phone.
  • Beware of “sound alike” organizations that have names very similar to responsible, reputable charities. Don’t be swayed merely by a benevolent-sounding name.
  • Remember that you have the right to end the phone call whenever you wish. You should never feel coerced into either giving or continuing the conversation.
  • Although you are still eligible to receive calls soliciting contributions after you’ve registered your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry, you do have some recourse. If you receive a call from a third-party telemarketer on behalf of a charity (rather than the charity itself), then you can ask that firm to stop calling. If the telemarketing firm calls again soliciting for the same charity, then that firm should be reported and could face a fine.

The bottom line is, be very leery of telemarketers looking to raise funds for a “local” charity.  Support only those organizations that you know are fiscally responsible and financially healthy… and support them directly, not through marketing companies or telemarketers.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation is the ONLY organization authorized to raise funds on behalf of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.  The Foundation does not solicit funds by phone nor do we use telemarketers of any type.  No one at the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation is salaried or compensated in any way.  The Foundation serves as a vehicle for your tax-exempt gifts which provide resources directly to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.  

You can learn more about the Foundation by visiting our website at www.pbgpf.org or by calling (561) 799-4440

 

Tom Murphy is a resident of PGA National and has been president of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation, Inc. since 2007.  Before helping to form the foundation, he was a marketing executive with the IBM Corporation and earlier a member of the Nassau County (NY) Police Department.

Police Foundation: 2017 “Herb & Penny Wender” Scholarship Awardees

CONGRATULATIONS to the two recipients of our “Herb and Penny Wender Scholarships for 2017!

Each year the Foundation awards two $2,500 scholarships to qualified individuals in their pursuit of continuing education.

The selection of the scholarship recipients is made by a Foundation appointed scholarship review committee taking into consideration the applicant’s record of scholastic achievement, record of prior community service and recommendations from instructors, coaches, supervisors or other adults they have worked with. The applicants are also required to submit a one page essay on a topic indicated in the Foundation. This year’s topic was “Describe how you have demonstrated leadership ability both in and out of school.”

Herb WenderThe Foundation Scholarship program is funded by a generous donation from Radian Group, Inc. (NYSE: RDN), a provider of private mortgage insurance, risk management products and real estate services to financial institutions in recognition of their chairman, Mr. Herb Wender. Their chairman has devoted more than 40 years of service to the company. Mr. & Mrs. Wender are residents of Palm Beach Gardens and he recommended the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation as his charity of choice for the company’s donation.

After careful consideration and review of all the applications submitted, two local students were selected to receive the grant money.

  • Sabrina SniderSabrina A. Snider, a resident of the Berwick community, was a 2016 graduate of The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach and is currently attending Palm Beach State College. With her PBSC GPA of 3.75 Sabrina will be starting in the Fall at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Sabrina is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and hopes to earn her Bachelor’s degree at FSU in Business/Insurance Risk Management. In her essay, Sabrina pointed out that “A leader is not someone who controls others or gives orders, but rather is someone who lifts others up with them rather than looking down at them.”

  

  • Nate LeBlancNathaniel J. LeBlanc, is a graduate of the Community Christian Academy in Stuart and will be attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He hopes to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Physics & Engineering. Nate graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society for three years, and served as Vice President of his Student Government Association. In Nate’s essay he says that as a leader he “tries to treat others how he wants to be treated and to be a positive role model and leader, showing a willingness to help others who are struggling.”

In the past five years, the Police Foundation scholarship program has awarded eleven hardworking and dedicated students scholarships that totaled $15,000. It accepts applications from graduating high school seniors and undergraduate college students who are residents of the City of Palm Beach Gardens or are dependents of Palm Beach Gardens Police Department employees.

For more information on the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation’s Scholarship visit www.pbgpf.org/scholarships

Police Foundation: Special Olympics and Law Enforcement – a strong bond!

I recently had the opportunity to represent the Police Foundation at a meeting hosted by the President of Special Olympics North America, Marc Edenzon.   Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are currently some 4.7 million Special Olympians in 170 countries and 35,000 of them are here in Florida with 1,530 throughout Palm Beach County.  Mr. Edenzon is a new resident of Palm Beach Gardens and is looking to help create new, or enhance existing programs being offered here in the northern part of Palm Beach County.

In Palm Beach Gardens, TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is in its 10th season under the umbrella of the PBGYAA (Palm Beach Gardens Youth Athletic Association). The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl with an intellectual or physical disability and currently has 85 participants. They play every Monday night at the Klock Soccer Fields off of Burns Road. The program is geared toward player development rather than to competition.

Other local programs exist or are being formed in various different sports such as golf, flag football, swimming, bocce, bowling and basketball. 

Mr. Edenzon kicked off the meeting with a general overview of Special Olympics and Special Olympics Florida and then talked about the traditional sports and unified sports programs that all start at the local level and eventually lead some athletes to participate in Athlete Leadership and Healthy Athlete programs.  Some athletes even go on to participate in the Special Olympic games.

Participants in the meeting were representatives of various different organizations, many from the field of law enforcement, all of whom had a connection or direct interest in youth with intellectual disabilities whether it be Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or others. The president of the PBGYAA, Tony Badala along with the president of TOPSoccer, Damien Murray also participated in the meeting. 

Edenzon went on to define the steps in creating local programs including recruitment – not only the athletes, but also of a volunteer committee and volunteer coaches and assistants. He spoke briefly about the need to secure equipment, facilities and uniforms.

A lively and informative discussion followed Mr. Edenzon’s presentation and the participants all agreed to reconvene at a later date to help form other sports programs that would kick off in the Fall of 2017.

Individuals who have a specific interest and are willing to volunteer their time and efforts in helping to create and enhance local programs can call the Police Foundation office at (561) 799-4440 for more information.

Subsequent to the meeting (and prior to the publication of this article) there were two law enforcement special events, both focused on raising funds for Special Olympics.

• “Tip-A-Cop at Duffy’s Sports Grill” was held on April 20th at three Palm Beach County Duffy’s including the one on US Highway One and PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. Dozens of law enforcement personnel from local agencies volunteered their time as “celebrity waiters” and received tips which all go to the Special Olympics program.  This year nearly $10,000 was raised during the one-night, four-hour Duffy’s event! 

• On April 26th, hundreds of law enforcement personnel from throughout Palm Beach County participated in another fund raising event, the County’s “Special Olympics Torch Run®” in Lantana. This is part of the state-wide Torch Run to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. Over 5,000 officers carry the “Flame of Hope” on what is a 1500-mile relay throughout 67 counties in Florida. The run culminates at the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games on May 19th at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista.
 
The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of Special Olympics Florida and is especially proud of the many Palm Beach Gardens police officers, volunteers, civilian employees, and their families and friends who participate in these events.  With the assistance of the Police Foundation, the relationship our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department has with our community is growing stronger than ever. 

For more information on Special Olympics visit specialolympics.org or specialolympicsflorida.org

Police Foundation: Investing in the youth of our community …

While the Police Foundation’s primary mission is to insure that the men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have the equipment, training and technology they need to keep us safe, we are also focused on community outreach and youth programs.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department’s Explorer Post is a youth program, in part funded by the Police Foundation, and we are very supportive of their efforts to offer the youth of the community an insight into the overall criminal justice system. “Law Enforcement Exploring” offers young adults a personal awareness through training, practical experiences, competition and other community activities. As a competitive group, the Explorers have won numerous awards and trophies all the way up to 1st place in overall competition. It is designed to promote character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism.

The program has served as a platform from which many young adults have launched a successful career with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Several of our Police Explorers have in fact become Police Officers here in Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach County.

As part of their training, our Palm Beach Gardens Police Explorers recently participated in the “2017 Law Enforcement Challenge” held at the Martin County Fairgrounds. Under the close supervision of their Advisors, the Explorers took part in numerous different law enforcement competitive skills events that were judged by experienced Police Officers from within the three participating counties.

The competitive events involved typical scenarios that Police Officers encounter on a regular basis – domestic crisis intervention, building searches, high-risk traffic stops, mock disasters and more. They were also tested on their physical agility, professionalism and maturity.

Ten different Police Explorer Posts from Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie County participated in the challenge and the scoring and results will be announced at the upcoming Annual Explorer Awards Banquet.

In June, members of the Explorer Post will participate in the State competition to be held here in Palm Beach Gardens. They will compete against some thirty posts from across the State of Florida. This competition is hosted by the FBI National Academy and the Florida Association of Police Explorers and is a week-long event. Competition is fierce and taken very seriously by the individual teams. Final scores in some categories are only separated by small percentage points.

Our Police Explorers train throughout the year for these two competitive events. The training combines classroom activities and hands-on practical exercises all aimed at preparing these young adults for eventual entry into the police academy. Their advisors are dedicated, fully sworn Palm Beach Gardens Police Officers who bring a high level of commitment to the process.

The Police Foundation is proud to be a sponsor and supporter of this outstanding youth program and of the young men and women of our community who are contemplating a career in law enforcement or a related field in the criminal justice system.

Remember, it takes a community effort to keep us safe. For more information on the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation or to make a donation, please visit our website at http://www.pbgpf.org/donate or call the Foundation office at 561 799-4440.

Police Foundation: Where do my charitable donations actually go?

This is a question that everyone should be asking of all the non-profit organizations they support. The Police Foundation respects the right of our donors to know how their money is being spent and we are proud to report that we meet or exceed the guidelines set by the Better Business Bureau and other such organizations.

Most rating organizations will tell you that the administrative expenses of non-profits should be less than 33% and that if they are spending more than that on overhead, they are simply not meeting their mission.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation was formed back in 2007 when the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was in full swing. And each year since then the Foundation has kept its administrative expenses at or near 15%. Perhaps better said, some 85 cents of every dollar you donate to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation goes to help us meet our clearly defined mission. Our mission statement is “.… to secure public funding to enhance the safety of our community and the effectiveness of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.” None of the Foundation’s Board members are remunerated in any way and the bulk of the administrative expenses go to fundraising, postage and insurance.

The Foundation seeks to create a safer Palm Beach Gardens by ensuring that our Police Officers have the vital equipment, training and technology they need and that the Agency is able to sponsor youth programs, community outreach and crime prevention programs that promote awareness of public safety issues. While the City budget provides all the necessary resources to fund personnel and operational costs of our Police Department, some new and innovative programs are often either not funded or underfunded. This leaves very little flexibility to develop new and creative programs and to encourage innovation.

The role of the Foundation therefore is not to displace funding for basic law enforcement, or to reduce in any way the responsibility of the City of Palm Beach Gardens to commit the necessary funding for law enforcement services. Rather, as modern law enforcement strategies and techniques become more complex, the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, similar to police departments across the country, has increasing needs in order to stay current with crime fighting strategies and modern technology. The Police Foundation is there to help meet those needs.

Since its formation in 2007 the Foundation has made grants to the Police Department for the purchase of a wide variety of items. Among those are 3-K9 dogs, predictive policing software, SWAT robots, electronic traffic recorders, active shooter kits, protective vests, ballistic shields, crime scene technology, night vision cameras, trauma kits and much, much more. We have also helped fund numerous training courses including classes on excited delirium, drug recognition, crisis intervention, fair and impartial treatment as well as the Citizens Police Academy and the National Night Out Against Crime.

The youth of our city are also the future of our city. Recognizing this, the Foundation supports the Police Explorer program, BallStars basketball camp, the Special Olympics, Suits for Seniors, Children’s Oasis International as well as our own “Herb and Penny Wender Scholarship Program” and the annual September 11th Essay Contest.

Overall, the Police Foundation has provided grants in excess of $603,000 through the generosity and support of those who live, learn, work and play in the City of Palm Beach Gardens. We know that our supporters trust us to use the funds they give us wisely. We are committed to fulfilling that trust and to providing you with updates on how your support is helping to keep our community safe.

Thank you for your tax-deductible contribution!

The Police Foundation website is at www.pbgpf.org

Police Foundation: Focus on Education

As frequent readers of this column know, the main mission of the Police Foundation is to help insure that the men and women of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department have the tools they need to keep us safe. We refer often to the Equipment, Training and Technology needs of the police department.

There are other areas that the Foundation focuses on as well. These are community outreach programs aimed at helping to keep our City a safe place to live, learn, work, and play.

Our scholarship fund is one of those community outreach programs focused on education. Each year for the past 5 years the Foundation has offered two or more scholarships to help lessen the financial burden of those pursuing a higher education degree. The program is open to dependents of all families residing in the City of Palm Beach Gardens as well as to the dependents of current employees of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.

In February, we were pleased to announce that we had received a $15,000 contribution through a local resident and that those funds were designated for the sole purpose of supporting our scholarship program. To recognize his 40 years of outstanding service to the company, the Radian Group (NYSE: RDN), a private mortgage insurance, risk management and real estate services company asked their chairman, Mr. Herb Wender, to name his charity of choice. Mr. Wender, a resident of Palm Beach Gardens, selected the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation Scholarship Fund.

Commenting on the donation, S.A. Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer of Radian Group said “… we look forward to building on the Foundation’s success and helping to lessen the financial burden of higher education for more Palm Beach Gardens families.”

Details on the Foundation’s “Herb and Penny Wender Scholarship Fund” can be found at www.pbgpf.org/scholarships.

The Foundation’s tuition reimbursement fund is another community outreach program focused on education. Studies have shown that police officers with experience in psychology, sociology and other college-taught disciplines are often more adept to addressing the issues they face on a daily basis and make better decisions when dealing with confrontations. They demonstrate better overall job performance and have greater advancement opportunities than their colleagues without a college degree.

The Foundation’s Tuition Reimbursement Program was established in 2015 to reimburse the education expenses of those Palm Beach Gardens Police Officers interested in obtaining a college degree from an accredited higher education institution.

Again, in February, we were pleased to announce that we had received a $10,000 contribution from a local resident who chose to remain anonymous. Those funds were designated for the sole purpose of supporting our tuition reimbursement program and will allow the Foundation to extend its support into the coming years.

The Foundation believes that by police officers continuing their education they make themselves a current and relevant asset to both the agency and to the residents of the City of Palm Beach Gardens.

Details on the Foundation’s tuition reimbursement program can be found at www.pbgpf.org/reimburse.

The Police Foundation website is at www.pbgpf.org

Police Foundation: Community Safety Campaign

As our 2016 Community Safety Campaign nears its end, the Foundation expresses its sincere thanks and appreciation to the many residents and businesses who have so generously contributed and are helping us to keep Palm Beach Gardens safe.

Donations made to the Foundation allow us to help ensure that our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department is one of the best trained, up to date and well equipped law enforcement agencies in South Florida.

We will soon be sending out our Annual Report to our many donors. Others wishing a copy can email us at 2016AR@pbgpf.org and we will be happy to send you a copy.

Donations received in the current campaign will again allow us to make grants to the police department for the Equipment, Training and Technology needs of the men and women who work so hard to protect us and keep us safe on a daily basis. These donations also allow us to fully fund our newly established Tuition Reimbursement Program that assists Officers wanting to complete their college education, enhance their skills and advance their career opportunities.

Our Scholarship Program, open to local high school students moving on to college, is part of our Community Outreach effort and helps to steer young adults toward promising careers in law enforcement, legal, and other professional pursuits.

This year’s Campaign included a new option for donors, our Champions Group. Members of this special group are forward-thinking supporters who donate monthly to help ensure Community Safety. Their monthly gift helps provide long-term solutions and allows us to plan ahead and strengthen our work within the community. It also allows us to reduce our mailing costs and be more environmentally friendly. Champion group members get the deep satisfaction of knowing their gift is making a difference in Community Safety. Champions receive an end-of-year tax-receipt making it easier for them to claim their deduction. For more information on the Champions Monthly Giving Program please visit pbgpf.org/givemonthly

Palm Beach Gardens is becoming more of a regional center with its multiple shopping venues, universities, corporate offices, restaurants and sports offerings. As a result, our Police Department needs to continue to be the absolute finest. Through the support of the City and generous donations from our residents and business establishments we are helping to ensure that Palm Beach Gardens is a safe place to Live, Learn, Work and Play.

The Honda Classic
As we go to press with this issue, the Honda Classic is only a little over a week away. Once again, the tournament will be held at the PGA National Resort and Spa here in Palm Beach Gardens between February 20-26, 2017. The men and women of our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department are ready to ensure the safety of not only the 200,000+ spectators who are forecasted to attend over the duration of the event, but also the players, vendors, staff and all those who make this annual event such a spectacular draw to the City of Palm Beach Gardens. It’s a massive undertaking but our Police Officers are ready and looking forward to the event. The Police Foundation is one of the many non-profit organizations that take part in the event and we too are looking forward to a very successful 2017 Honda Classic Tournament.
For more information on the Police Foundation or to contribute to our current campaign please visit pbgpf.org