Hearing about a need in our local police department and wanting to help, local realtor, Debbie Cox of Service First Realty, launched a fundraiser to jumpstart an effort to get body cams for the Globe police department. As the largest property management firm in the area, she says she went to her owners and tenants first and next to local business owners and individuals.
“My original goal was to raise $9000 because I felt that would be a good dent,” says Cox, “so when the City goes to look at their budget they know they have these funds already set aside for that purpose.”
She initially launched the program in April, by setting up an account at Wells Fargo Bank called the Globe PD Police Cam fund, and was able to raise just under $4000, before a family emergency forced her to step back in August from the effort.
Not knowing when she would be able to get back to her fundraising efforts, she pulled the money out of the account in early August and turned it over to the City of Globe. Fortunately the emergency resolved itself and Cox says she plans to get back to raising funds in September.
“I still have the account we set up at Wells Fargo bank under the name of Globe PD Body Cams, “she says, “and people can still go in and contribute.”
Globe Interim Chief Bob Folker, says body cams provide transparency and accountability which serve the best interests of both the department and the community. Pricing for body cameras and retention software has been dropping and with cloud based retention services which handle the collection of data from the cameras, the program appears within reach. Folker says he has presented the case to city council and both the council and town manager are supportive of adding body cams to the department, but the mix of funding has not not been determined.
“We missed the window to apply for grants such as FMI and others,” Cox says adding that she believes it might take a combination of sources including city funds, grants and community support like the one she is spearheading.
The response to the program has been overwhelming, according to Cox, who adds that donations have come in from all over. Lieutenant Keeling, says donations have also come in from the officers themselves.
People she has talked with see body cams as a tool which can help both officers and the community resolve issues more effectively. And that makes for better relations and a stronger department.
No more he said/she said.
She can’t say how many donations are represented in the donation she handed over to the city because, in June, her office was vandalized and the list of donors was lost. However, she says it included many small contributions of $5,$10, $25. “I can’t thank people enough for stepping up to help our police department, by contributing to the body cam program,” she says.
As a property manager, Cox says she has worked with (Interim) Chief Folker on a number of issues over the last several months and praises the chief and his department for being responsive and effective in handling her requests for service.
And she is not alone. ” It has been rewarding to see the support that officers have throughout the community, she says.