About six months ago, a group of concerned citizens in Redmond began talking about how they wanted to support their police department.
After approaching the Redmond Police Department (RPD), the citizens began working on forming the Redmond Police Foundation, a benevolent vehicle to support officers outside of the city budget.
Sharon Brocker, one of the founding members and president of the foundation, said their mission is to support law enforcement by providing funds for essential, non-budget expenditures. These expenditures could include police gear, professional development or individual or family support in the event of a crisis.
Brocker said she became involved because it has been her life’s motto to make friends and build strong community. She said Redmond is a great place to live and the police and first responders are incredible and she wanted to support their efforts.
Redmond is fortunate to have caring and compassionate law enforcement that does great community policing.
“Our police department, they make such a difference,” Brocker said.
One example of this difference, she said, is the Assistance League of the Eastside’s Operation School Bell. At this annual event, local students from families facing financial hardship are given the opportunity to go on a shopping spree for back-to-school clothes, shoes and coats. Law enforcement officers often participate and shop with the youth. Brocker said the kids and adults alike are excited to see the officers.
Becky Range, public information officer for RPD, said the department often receives calls from businesses and individuals who want to donate, but they have not had a transparent way for people to do that. The foundation, she said, will give them a legal process to accept donations the right way.
In addition, the department will now have an organization to direct people to for those who want to donate.
Range said the challenge they face is the fact that Redmond officers are humble and don’t like to ask for a lot. But now with the foundation, she said they can work with Cmdr. Charlie Gorman, who is the department liaison for the foundation, to come up with a wish list of things they need.
“It’ll be helpful for us,” Range said.
She added that the foundation has expressed interest in helping RPD with recognition ceremonies.
“I think the community will really love that,” Range said.
She said with so much negative press about law enforcement in recent years, it has been wonderful to see support from the community through the foundation. While officers do feel people’s support in Redmond, Range said at the end of the day, they go home and watch the news and the negative stories affect them.
“It’s so important,” she said about the support.
One local business has already held an event to benefit the foundation. Last Saturday, the newly opened cycling studio, CycleBar in Redmond Town Center, hosted two rides to donate funds to the foundation. According to a CycleBar press release, the rides were part of the studio’s CycleGiving program in which CycleBar partners with local nonprofits to give back to the community. Organizations can arrange custom rides at the studio with 100 percent of the proceeds going right back to support their causes.
Brocker said the foundation is still in its beginning stages and they are still working through red tape, filing the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State and IRS to become an official nonprofit organization. She said it can take anywhere between two and 18 months for everything to be approved.
While that process is still underway, Brocker said the foundation is also looking for more board members. Currently she, Tim Short and Matt Meyers are the three members.
Those interested in getting involved with the Redmond Police Foundation can contact Range at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 556-2545.