January 6, 2020
The Philadelphia Police Foundation in 2019 supported the men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department by funding $514,500 for equipment, training, programs and technology that ranged from drones to dogs and anti-bias training to wellness exams for horses, none of which was included in the city’s budget for the year.
“In 2019, our 20th anniversary as a nonprofit providing important non-budgeted needs for the Philadelphia Police Department to effectively maintain peace and safety in the city, was extremely productive and satisfying for our board and for the ultimate benefit of the men and women of the police department,” said Maureen S. Rush, Foundation President and Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent for Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Our partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department, its command staff and the rank and file has provided our board with great insights into both the effectiveness and what is needed to maintain the proficiency of a 6,300-person metropolitan police force,” she said. “We are greatly indebted to former Police Commissioner Richard Ross and current Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter for their cooperation and gratitude for our contributions to law enforcement.”
Among the 13 separate items requested by the police department that were not included in the city’s budget and were fulfilled by the police foundation were:
- The purchase of 72 modern ballistic helmets for the elite SWAT Unit. The new helmets are lighter, stronger, safer and more comfortable to wear, helping to reduce stress and fatigue during extended crime situations.
- The purchase and installation of InfoShare software, an expanded centralized data management system that broadens intelligence-gathering and sharing capabilities both within and outside of the Philadelphia Police Department.
- Completions to improvements and renovations at the 18th Police District and Southwest Detective Division building at 55th and Pine Sts.
- Purchase of a Crash Data Retrieval System and training for investigators that enables the police department’s Accident Investigation Unit to retrieve, download and print information recorded in a vehicle’s airbag and powertrain control module for activity that transpired during a crash.
- Funding of an initial drone and training for a pilot program that is designed to utilize drone surveillance to provide intelligence, tactical planning and personnel safety during various police situations.
- Anti-bias training sessions for Police Academy Cadets to the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
- Children of Police Scholarship Fund (COPS), a joint venture with the Connelly Foundation, which provides free education scholarships for grades K-12 for children of police officers killed in the line of duty or severely disabled.
- For animal police officers: The foundation has purchased a dog and canine bulletproof vests, and new saddle padding and bi-annual veterinarian wellness exams at the University of Pennsylvania’s internationally acclaimed New Bolton Center in Newtown Square, PA, for horses in the Mounted Patrol Unit ($2,725).
- The purchase of various equipment for the Police Community Relations Division to assist in the positive interaction between residents and the police department.