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The Prescott Valley Police Department this past week honored Police Foundation founding member Ginny Reeves, who has stepped down after eight years of service with the organization.
Police Chief Bryan Jarrell said, "Where I came from we didn't have police foundations - it was unheard of. So when I got here and I first heard about this and their selfless devotion, I was really taken aback by it. The Foundation has raised and donated more than $100,000 to supply things for us that we just can't get. They are such a great organization, so a heartfelt thanks to all of you."
"I know you have spent a lot of your own time and effort and emotional investment, and I really appreciate that on behalf of the department," said Deputy Police Chief James Edelstein.
After attending the Citizen’s Police Academy in 2008 and hearing that there was a shortage of equipment not in the budget, Ginny met with the department's then chief to see what could be done. He suggested a non-profit foundation to secure funds to provide that equipment. Such foundations were becoming successful around the country. With the help of a local CPA, Ginny completed the IRS application for the 501(c)3 designation. She invited PV Chamber of Commerce CEO Marnie Uhl, retired from 22 years as a deputy with the LA County Sheriff's Department, to become a part. Marnie served as the Foundation president for two years.
"So we were off and running with 35 citizens attending our first meeting and a plan to have our first fundraiser," Ginny said. "I served as treasurer for seven of the past eight years."
Previously, an officer had to come up with money for his own ballistic vest every five years. The Town paid half and the Federal Government paid the other half, but there was a six-month delay in reimbursement from the government. The Foundation gives interest-free loans to the officers so they do not have to front money for their vests. The Foundation also has supplied raincoats, holsters, tasers, locking rifle racks, additional lockers for new officers, SWAT rifle plates, evidence room cameras and the project manager, materials, and most of the furnishings for the Prescott Valley Police Mobile Command Center (RICO provided the trailer and pickup truck).
Money for the Foundation comes from several events and fundraisers during the year. One of the largest and most successful is its annual Murder Mystery Dinner, starring local actors and directed for several years by Marnie, who will be directing again in 2017.
For more information on the Prescott Valley Police Foundation, visit http://pvpolicefoundation.org/