gmhTODAY 04 gmhToday Sep Oct 2015 - Page 93

Newly Formed Gilroy Police Foundation   I n the Spring of 2015, a small group of Gilroy citizens decided to form the Gilroy Police Foundation to make a difference in public safety, according to police chief Denise Turner.  The new 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization’s mission is to boost awareness and community support for Gilroy Police Department’s unmet needs, specifically, proactive policing. The foundation’s Board of Directors, led by president Mark Turner, is staffed by local volunteers.  Directors include Rui Bronze, Mary Donahue, Teri Freedman, JaneHoward, James Keen, Mike Thompson, and Linda Wieck. They have worked with Chief Turner and her staff to develop a funding campaign to support proactive policing.  Their efforts will be based upon data from computer mapping of  the city’s crime areas, input from social media, and the department’s criteria of community safety success.  Some identified needs include funding another dog for GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Pictured: Teri Freedman, Rui Toste, Jane Howard, Mark Turner, Mary Donahue, James Keen, Linda Wieck, and Mike Thompson the K9  unit’s two sworn officers, and purchasing saddles for the mounted patrol’s horses. A community-pleaser, the horses are deployed for crowd control at the Garlic Festival and other city events. The five officers bear most of the expense for the care of the horses. Other funding projects may include adding dual sport dirt bikes to patrol the creeks and parks, and adding another night to the late-night open gym project.   Currently, there is only enough money to open the gym for at-risk youth one night a week. All funds raised are tax-deductible, and go 100% to fund the most pressing unmet local public safety needs, as prioritized by GPD. The Gilroy Police Foundation’s first gala is scheduled for April 2016.  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 93