At the core of the Seattle Police Foundation’s work is the understanding that safe communities require partnerships between public safety professionals and the residential and business communities they serve. Understanding that to fulfill its mission of raising awareness and support for the Seattle Police Department, SPF plays an integral role in facilitating partnerships that support a safe and healthy Seattle. This year, SPF will be focusing on a number of initiatives that promote and support the health and safety of our city. Four of our priorities will include:
Domestic Violence (DV) Prevention and Intervention with a Focus on Victim-Driven Programming.
SPD is a national leader in innovative domestic violence programming, including the SPF supported Victim Support Team (VST) and DV Risk Assessment development. Building on SPD’s collaborative approach to domestic violence response, in 2015 SPF will be supporting the implementation of a best practice model Domestic Violence Response Center that will bring prosecutors, DV detectives, DV advocates, and interested community based providers into one center making access to services for victims and their children easier and collaboration between victim providers more effective and efficient.
Officer-Driven Community Support.
Seattle police officers have great ideas to help the community every year. As one example, this past year Officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher, who are used to encountering difficult and challenging situations, while responding to a 911 call were saddened to find two young girls living without a proper beds. Not content to standby, the officers later returned to that same home with brand new twin beds from IKEA Seattle for the two young girls, both purchased from their own pockets. As a result of their experience, Officers Wade and Gallagher worked with SPF, IKEA and other volunteer officers to deliver more than 50 beds to kids in need in the Seattle area this year. Without SPF and our generous supporters ideas like Beds for Kids would not come to life. SPF looks forward to delivering even more beds in 2015.
Officer Health and Safety.
An officer is killed in the line of duty every 58 hours in this country. In 2015, SPF will purchase external body armor carriers that maintain the look of a normal officer uniform, not a military look. This investment is based on research that shows no other piece of law enforcement safety equipment has made such a fundamental difference in officer safety, saving the lives of nearly 4,000 U.S. law enforcement officers since its introduction. The opportunity to directly support officers on the beat is one of SPF’s driving forces.
Sexually Exploited Youth Programming.
Unfortunately, the belief that child prostitution only happens “over there” is just the first of many popular misconceptions. In Seattle alone, estimates as high as 500 boys and girls will be bought and sold each year. The average age of entry into commercial sexual exploitation in this country is 14–15; these children have been found in Seattle as young as 11. Continuing our early support of programs addressing this horrific problem, SPF will focus on supporting coordinated responses to sexually exploited youth in 2015.
These are just four examples of the hundreds of programs the Foundation has supported in the last 14 years. The Seattle Police Foundation is proud to do its part to support a safe and healthy city.