Benefits - Summary of Funded Initiatives
The Police Foundation has funded the following programs, projects and activities:
Canine Program - The entire three dog canine program owes its existence to the foundation. Community support purchased each of the german shepards, provided the initial five week training for the canine and the handler, paid for the purchase and conversion of three patrol cars to canine cars. During prior years of fiscal shortfalls, funds from the foundation paid for the on-going operational costs of the program (care and feeding of the dogs, specialty pay for the handlers).
DARE Specialty Vehicles - The department's DARE program has been enhanced through the purchase of two high performance, specially painted cars which are used in school presentations, community events and parades to attract the attention of youth and engage them in positive interactions with officers.
Evidence Team Trailer and Equipment - The department's evidence team is now able to process crime scenes out of a specially outfitted trailer with electrical power, external lighting and storage for all their equipment. The first time the trailer was used was at an officer involved shooting scene - only hours after customization of the new trailer was completed! This trailer allows officers to get out of the sun and rain and to have a sheltered place to work from. Previously, officers would have to go to the police department and bring out individual pieces of equipment in cargo boxes and work out of the back of a vehicle.
Range Trailer - Similar to the evidence trailer, the department has, for years, transported targets, ammunition, range and cleaning supplies from the police department to the police range in south San Jose. The recent purchase and special outfitting of the range trailer has allowed the rangemasters to keep all equipment organized and in one place and has greatly facilitated the department's ability to conduct range training and qualification.
Disaster Aid Response Team SUV and Trailer - The departments all-volunteer Disaster Aid Response Team (DART) provided skilled emergency response volunteers to the community for disaster response, community first aid services, evidence search and collection and technical search and rescue. The foundation provided a large trailer with power and room to transport an all terrain ATV and specialized equipment to any location. The trailer is used as a base of operations when DART provided free first aid services to community groups and activities such as the Fourth of July celebration.
Detective Bureau Specialized Surveillance and Investigative Tools - The detectives now have undercover, covert equipment with which to conduct specialized investigations. This equipment allows the detectives to follow up on critical investigations without suspects knowing they are being investigated. With this equipment, the detectives are able to now investigate internet predators who try to victimize young members of our community.
Community Outreach and Safety Programs - several programs have received funding including:
- New Resident Outreach Program, a new partnership with the Town's realtor and title companies, sends a uniformed volunteer to the door of every new resident of town upon the sale/purchase of a home to provide information about police department and Town services as well as information about the local business community and community resources and activities.
- Anti-drinking and driving program provided direct support to the high school for its 2007 program to educate seniors about the dangers of drinking and driving
- Internet Safety Community Presentation to provide awareness of the dangers of the internet to Los Gatos and Monte Sereno youth provided in partnership with the San Jose Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
- Ice Cream Coupon program to provide a positive incentive to kids in the community who wear their helmets. Officers provide free ice cream coupons to kids they see who are taking personal responsibility to keep themselves safe and follow the law. This program is unique among local departments. Other departments only issue citations to kids who do not wear their helmets; Los Gatos rewards kids who follow the law, sometimes in front of other kids who are not wearing helmets and who are getting a citation!
- Youth Commission Mini-Grant program provides funding for the youth commission to give to youth in the community, in amounts up to $200, to create projects which make Los Gatos better or improve conditions for youth
- Adopt a Cop partnered police officers with middle school students as mentors and friends. The officer and up to three students would go to lunch together and talk. The officers came onto campus and provided a free bbq lunch to the entire student body. The officers and all the Adopt a Cop students went to the San Francisco Giants for the day as a special reward.
- Police Explorers are supported with equipment and program fees. The explorer program allows youth 14-21 years of age to learn about law enforcement through uniformed participation in events and activities. The explorers ride with officers and provide security and traffic control help to the department.
- Police Pipes and Drums provides bagpipe and drum ceremonial performances at official law enforcement events such as parades, funerals and memorial services. Funds from the foundation have provided uniforms and equipment to the band. The band donates its proceeds to the foundation from all of its performances.
Specialty equipment for SWAT - The department's Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) has been able to enhance its ability through the purchase of specialized surveillance and weapons equipment to be used during critical incidents.
Training Mats - the department had no place to train officers in the physical skills of how to arrest a person or control a combative individual. The foundation paid for mats which can be set out and put away again so that officers can take advantage of multi-use space for critical training
Specialized Training for Personnel - the department relies upon specialized training throughout the year to learn new skills and maintain existing skills.
- Peer support and critical stress debriefing techniques have been taught to department members, both police officers, dispatchers and civilian staff as well as the department's volunteer police chaplain
- Volunteer Reserve Police Officers have attended state-wide conferences and update training