Police Foundation: A Decade of Support

As the calendar page rolls over from 2017 to 2018, the Police Foundation begins its second decade of support for our Palm Beach Gardens Police Department

Back in 2007, when a crisis in the subprime mortgage market began developing into what would eventually become a full-blown banking crisis, the city began to set in place numerous fiscal policies to protect investments and maintain levels of service. Department heads in all areas of the city worried about how harsh budget cuts would affect the operation of their organization. Our forward-thinking police chief looked for alternative sources of revenue and asked a small group of concerned citizens to help raise funds to support innovative programs that the city could not readily fund. That small group of five volunteers formed the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation which has grown over the years into a major support organization for the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and a highly respected philanthropic group.

That independent, not-for-profit organization was established to help ensure public safety in the City of Palm Beach Gardens by raising private funds to provide for essential equipment, state-of-the-art technology as well as specialized training and innovative programs that might otherwise go unfunded. The Foundation’s support directly improves community safety, impacts officer readiness and helps enhance our overall quality of life.

It has been my honor and privilege to be a founding member and to serve as President of the Police Foundation for the past ten years. As President, one of the most important aspects of my position was to guide the Foundation in its formative years and to help ensure the long term best interest of the organization. With the assistance and support of a dedicated Board of Directors, I believe we have accomplished that.

At our Annual meeting in January and as part of the Board’s succession plan, I will step down as President but remain as a Director of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation. I am proud of having served such a great community for over 10 years and I remain committed to both the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and the Police Foundation. I look forward to serving and supporting our incoming President, Irwin Edenzon and his leadership team.

Irwin F. Edenzon joined the Police Foundation in early 2016 as the organization continued to grow and increase its efforts in the community. A New Jersey native, Irwin and his wife Frankie are residents of BallenIsles. He is a former President of Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, America’s largest military shipbuilding company. Irwin earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University and is a staunch supporter of the foundation’s mission. I am confident that he will continue to pursue the board’s common goal of supporting the men and women of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and ensuring that they have all the tools needed to protect and serve us.

Retiring from the Foundation Board at the Annual Meeting is Joe Gallucci, a founding member and the Foundation’s Treasurer for the past 10 years. When we looked for local concerned citizens to help create the foundation back in 2007, Joe was an obvious choice. He had worked as a CFO for a major Washington, DC retail firm for many years and then, after retiring to Palm Beach Gardens, was instrumental in the formation of several other not-for-profit organizations. Joe played an integral role in forming the Police Foundation and brought a business-like systems approach to the finances of the organization. He has worked diligently to ensure that the financial health of the Police Foundation is beyond reproach. Joe will be missed tremendously and the Foundation is deeply grateful for the significant contributions he made during his tenure. His professionalism has positioned the foundation for continued success. We wish him all the best in his retirement.

As we move into our second decade, the Police Foundation’s mission remains very much the same: to secure private funding to enhance the safety of our community and the effectiveness of our Police Department.

And speaking of private funding, the Police Foundation is currently in the midst of its 10th Annual Community Safety Campaign. Having started the first week of December, the campaign looks to the generous and caring residents and business owners in Palm Beach Gardens to donate so that we can continue our support of the men and women of our police department as they work to fight crime and ensure our safety.

Your tax-deductible donation is an Investment in a Safe Community. If you have not already mailed your check, please do so today. We live in one of the safest communities in South Florida. Help us keep it that way.

The author, 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. Tom is a resident of PGA National.

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