Did you know that your police department is supported by a non-profit foundation that donates both funds and equipment? The Newport News Police Foundation was founded in 2011 and has provided support ranging from sponsoring a youth summer program to purchasing innovative technologies to sending officers to unique training opportunities to supporting police families.
A visible example of the Police Foundation’s support was the early acquisition of body-worn cameras. Before the agency could propose an expensive and comprehensive strategy for the Department’s budget, the Foundation funded testing of several devices and the early roll-out of the Axon cameras now in use. From this pilot, the agency was able to get ongoing funding through traditional means, until again the Foundation stepped in at the end to help acquire the final units to fully deploy within our patrol operations. The video is invaluable as evidence in criminal cases, as well as an immediate resource to review for citizen complaints and identifying persons involved in an incident.
Canon Virginia is one of the significant Foundation partners. Canon has provided “point and shoot” digital cameras for every patrol unit, so that officers can quickly capture photographic evidence on scenes where a delay in having Crime Scene Forensic technicians could jeopardize gathering of evidence. Canon has also provided some special purpose photographic equipment, and is a willing source of subject matter expertise on photography.
One of the biggest projects ever undertaken by the Foundation is the current initiative to construct a new Police K-9 Training and Kennel facility. The former facility is partially condemned, requiring the K-9 handlers to work out of temporary trailers, and the dogs aren’t very happy with their portion even though it is not yet condemned! The new facility will provide improved kennels, a dog cleaning area, a training classroom, work space for the handlers, and of course the outside training and exercise yard that all K-9 facilities must rely on. The new site will be on 5 acres behind the City’s Brittingham-Midtown Community Center, and the Foundation is actively raising in-kind contributions and cash donations to help this become a reality for 2017.
On the human side of things, the Foundation also sponsors every significant event within the life of the Department: police academy graduations, promotional ceremonies, award ceremonies, etc. This support comes from the generosity of the Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding
that has earmarked a contribution to help NNPD properly honor our employees for these noteworthy events. The Foundation has also sponsored Family Fun days for police employees’ families at various locations in our community.
While historically the Foundation has been funded through major donors, gifts of all sizes are welcome. In fact, to complete the K-9 project, the Foundation can use all the support it can get….no bones about it! For more information about the Newport News Police Foundation, visit http://www.nnpolicefoundation.org/