After almost three years, the Norcross Police Department Foundation is officially an organization.
The foundation was started by a small group of community leaders, then known as the Norcross Police Appreciation Committee, in July 2009. Their initivative is to support the Norcross Police Department and to encourage and strengthen the communty involvement with them, according to a release by the foundation.
During those four years, the committee has spearheaded many efforts, such as the annual . It's also assisted in several community-focused events committee has assisted in several community-focused events such as the , the Metro Atlanta Traffic Enforcement Network Holiday Gala, and Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT).
The group's decision to convert to a non-profit institution earlier this year comes from the fact that they wanted to do more for the community and provide more resources to the NPD. The committee's funding through the city's budget was limited, so the foundation is in the process of becoming chartered as a tax exempt, non-profit institution in the state of Georgia.
"As a community, we must make public safety a priority, and supporting the officers shows a strong sense of community," said Arlene Beckles, president of the foundation. "With the vast support from the community, we can engage our resources to create public safety solutions that will benefit Norcross for years to come.”
Beckles is an original committee member, similar to many of the foundation's current board of directors. From its committee days, the directors include Gwendolyn Johns, Faye McFarland, Greg McFarland and Barbara Karnitz. The foundation also added new members Chanda Cardwell, Alvera Crittendon and Amanda McCallum.
The organization is modeled after similar police foundations and will continue to assist in innovative training and community outreach programs.
Beckles said a number of projects are already on the new foundation's itinerary. Beckles said the foundation's team is working on a number of projects such as the Norcross Citizens Police Academy; National Night Out; the annual police breakfast; ; Police and Citizens Together, which is an enhanced neighborhood watch; and a community emergency response team, which involves training a few citizens for crises when police need extra help.
The Norcross Police Foundation also just assisted in the American Red Cross blood drive at city hall this month. Through the efforts of the city, Red Cross and police foundation, 20 pints of blood was collected.
The foundation relies on contributions from individuals and businesses in order for its programs to be successful. To make a donation, make checks payable to: Norcross Police Department Foundation, C/O Arlene P. Beckles, 65 Lawrenceville Street, Norcross, GA 30071.
For more information on the Norcross Police Department Foundation, contact Secretary Chanda Cardwell at email@example.com or 678-805-7454. You can also visit norcrosspdfoundation.org.