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MPSF News and Issues

Press Release - Nov. 14, 2013:

Foundation Gives Loans to Local Men to Attend Police Academy - Loans will be forgiven after 3 years’ service
here as police or deputies

The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation has made the first loans in its new program to help local candidates attend police academy.

The $7,000 “scholarship/loans” cover tuition, uniform, equipment and expenses and will be forgiven in full if the candidate works for at least three years as a police officer or sheriff’s deputy in Mendocino County.

Cody Mason and Diego Sanchez, both of Willits, are the first two recipients of the scholarship/loans and will begin police academy at Santa Rosa Junior College in January. Both are prospective sheriff’s deputies.

The scholarship/loans were conceived by Ukiah police chief Chris Dewey as a way to help hire and keep local peace officers. Retention of officers and deputies has been a major problem because of higher salaries offered in other parts of California.

“This funding is very important to law enforcement,” says Dewey. “It helps us keep police officers and deputies local. This funding allows our local candidates with strong ties to our community the opportunity to attend a police academy.”

The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity established in 2011 to channel local donations to assist the police chiefs and sheriff. It has purchased police dogs and a tactical robot for local law enforcement, using donations from over 200 local residents and businesses.

The Foundation is funded by local donations and will be launching a fund-raising drive to support the scholarship/loans.

“Donations are essential to helping us keep local candidates here in the County,” said Dewey.

The Foundation is chaired by Jim Eddie of Potter Valley, a former long-time county supervisor. Foundation president is local businessman Ross Liberty.

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, P.O. Box 123, Ukiah.

PHOTO by Sherry Glavitch

Press Release - July 25, 2013:

Mendocino Public Safety Foundation Funds Scholarships for Local Peace Officer Candidates

A new scholarship program is now launched by the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation to recruit local candidates for peace officer training, followed by employment and retention in the Mendocino County Sheriff’s and three City Police departments work force.

The program will fund peace officer or correctional officer academy costs for nominees of the sheriff or police chiefs, as a loan that will be forgiven upon three years’ local service as a sheriff’s deputy, corrections deputy or police officer, including service as a reserve officer.

“Here in Mendocino County one of our most significant challenges is recruiting and retaining high quality law enforcement officers. We are constantly competing with surrounding law enforcement agencies that offer more competitive salaries and benefits. Being able to recruit locally, and develop our own applicants is key to the future success of law enforcement here in Mendocino County,” said Chief Chris Dewey.

“The Police Chiefs and Sheriff here in Mendocino County are extremely grateful for this new program being developed by the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation,” Dewey continued. “Being able to recruit and develop local applicants who have ties to our communities is essential for our future. Along with Sheriff Allman, Chief Mayberry and Chief Gonzales, I would encourage people to help us by donating to this new and exciting opportunity. Having the ability to recruit, develop and retain local law enforcement professionals is key to keeping our communities safe.”

The Foundation, in cooperation with the Police Chiefs and Sheriff as ex officio members, will invite applications. Materials will be available at www.protectmendocino.org.

Approved nominees would receive a conditional offer of employment or reserve office appointment upon satisfactory completion of Santa Rosa Junior College police academy or correctional officers’ academy. Loan agreements would be between the scholarship award winners and the Foundation.

The loans will cover academy tuition, uniform and equipment, as well as approved miscellaneous expenses, a value of approximately $6,000. Interest will be at one percent, with no repayment unless the candidate defaults under the agreement. The entire loan and interest will be forgiven upon completion of three years of service. The Foundation also may waive repayment under other circumstances. The Foundation plans to fund 2013 scholarships with its existing fund balance.

The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, was organized in 2011 to raise private funds to assist local law enforcement. The Foundation is continuing to accept donations from the public, including local businesses. Donations are tax deductible, depending on the donor's individual tax status.
100 percent of every dollar given by general donors will be passed on in support of local law enforcement. All Foundation personnel are volunteers, and fund-raising costs are funded by separate donations received for that purpose. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors headed by Jim Eddie of Potter Valley, a former County Supervisor.

Donations to the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation can be mailed to P.O. Box 123, Ukiah, CA 95482, or made through PayPal at www.ProtectMendocino.org. The Foundation can be contacted by email: info@ProtectMendocino.org.

Above R: Cadets in training who volunteered at last October's Foundation barbecue event (not necessarily scholarship candidates).

Locks Project

February 13, 2013:

This project will be funded by Ukiah Police Department and Ukiah Unified School District. The school board voted to use $30,000 in Lottery funds, asset forfeit funds provided by Chief Dewey, and Measure H funds. The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation is pleased to see this project go forward and thanks everyone involved for responding to this public safety need in our community. UDJ news article

January 30, 2013:

The Foundation agreed to a proposal from Ukiah Police Chief Dewey to support fund-raising for replacement of hundreds of door locks at schools in the Ukiah Unified School District, so that they can be locked from the inside in an emergency.

Press Release - Jan. 18, 2013:

"Emotional Survival" training a big success

MPSF was awarded a grant from Motorola to bring this training to Mendocino County. Ukiah Policy Chief Dewey reports: "The Ukiah Police Department was able to facilitate an essential training with the cooperation of the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation for the public safety professionals and their significant others in our area. The training was designed by Dr. Kevin Gilmartin for the wellbeing of our officers and families in emotionally surviving the stresses inherent with a career in Public Safety. The training seminar met with great success in attendance over the two separate training days on January 16 and 17, 2013. Over the course of the two days of training, a total of 174 public safety professionals from various agencies with their significant others attended."

Thanks letter

Press Release - Oct. 9, 2012: Event poster 11x17-pdf 7mb Event poster 8x11-pdf 4mb

Giving law enforcement the tools of the trade

The hunt for fugitive Aaron Bassler last year was handicapped because no local police agency had a tracking dog that could follow a scent in the woods. But that deficiency has been cured, thanks to charitable donations by hundreds of Mendocino County citizens.

The sheriff’s new bloodhound “Red” will meet the public on Saturday, October 20 at 11 a.m. at Noyo Harbor barbeque area on Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, in a Public Safety Appreciation Barbeque. Red has recently returned from training school and is ready to track fugitives, find lost persons, and do any other public safety duties that require an amazing sense of smell.

The October 20 barbecue is a benefit for the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, a non-profit that was set up in 2011 to raise funds to help local law enforcement and to build stronger ties between peace officers and the public they serve. The Foundation’s first grant paid for Red.

Another purchase by the Foundation will be greeting the public too. This is “Avatar,” a tactical robot that allows police to enter and search a crime scene without endangering personnel. Avatar can take video, talk and drive by remote control.

Another highlight of the barbecue will be a demonstration of K-9 dogs in action seizing and restraining a “suspect.”

The event will be hosted by Sheriff Tom Allman, who has worked closely with the Public Safety Foundation to identify needs of local law enforcement that citizens can help meet with their tax-deductible donations.

A full barbeque lunch will be prepared by Savings Bank of Mendocino County employees, with supplies donated by Harvest Market. Tickets are $10 per individual and $25 per family and are available at the door and at Harvest Market. A previous Public Safety Appreciation Barbeque in Redwood Valley October 7 drew 150 people.

“This gathering will be fun and it will let folks show their appreciation for our law enforcement professionals,” said Ross Liberty, president of the Public Safety Foundation.

It will also be part of the first annual meeting for the Foundation, which has more than 200 local member/donors. The Foundation is recognized as a 501(c)(3) charity by the federal government and it has a policy of using 100% of public donations for grants to the sheriff and local police departments, without any deduction for administrative expenses. All administrative services are provided without charge by volunteers, and costs like mailing and events are paid separately by local supporters.

The Foundation’s chairman is former county supervisor Jim Eddie of Potter Valley.

Looking to the future, the Foundation has set a goal of raising $20,000 to fund law enforcement in providing security for citizens’ volunteer cleanups of trash and chemicals left behind by illegal marijuana sites on public lands.

The Foundation’s website is ProtectMendocino.org and can be reached at 467-3661.

Press Release - Sept. 16, 2012: Event poster 11x17-pdf 7mb Event poster 8x11-pdf 4mb

“AVATAR” Robot, new bloodhound and K-9 dogs will be highlights of Public Safety Appreciation Barbecue Oct. 20

Some of the tools that help protect peace officers in their dangerous jobs will be on display at the first Public Safety Appreciation barbecue on Saturday, October 20 at 11 a.m. at the Noyo Harbor picnic area, rain or shine.

Sheriff Tom Allman will greet the public and a full barbecue lunch will be prepared by Ukiah police and fire cadets.

The event is a benefit for the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, a non-profit that is raising funds to support local law enforcement.

Tickets are $10 per individual and $25 per family and are available at Mendocino Books, Selzer Realty, Schat's Courthouse Bakery, Harvest Market, and at the door.

Featured entertainment will include a visit by “Avatar,” a tactical robot purchased recently for local police by the Public Safety Foundation. Volunteers from the audience will be invited to drive the robot, which allows police to enter and search crime scenes without endangering lives.

“Red,” a bloodhound purchased this year with assistance of the Foundation, will greet the public. The bloodhound gives the sheriff the ability to track fugitives and lost persons, a need highlighted by events last year.

The barbecue will also feature a demonstration of the sheriff’s K-9 dogs, attacking and restraining a “suspect.”

“This gathering will be fun and it will let folks show their appreciation for our law enforcement professionals,” said Ross Liberty, president of the Public Safety Foundation.

It will also be the first annual meeting for the Foundation, which has more than 200 local donors.

The Public Safety Foundation will host another barbecue on October 7 at Barra Winery in Redwood Valley. The events are supported by generous donations of Savings Bank of Mendocino County and Harvest Market.

The Foundation’s website is ProtectMendocino.org and the phone is 467-3661.

Press Release - Sept. 16, 2012:

“AVATAR” Robot, new bloodhound and K-9 dogs will be highlights of Public Safety Appreciation Barbecue Oct. 7

Some of the tools that help protect peace officers in their dangerous jobs will be on display at the first Public Safety Appreciation barbecue on Sunday, October 7 at 1 p.m. at the Barra Winery, 7051 N. State Street, Redwood Valley.

Sheriff Tom Allman will greet the public and a full barbecue lunch will be prepared by Ukiah police and fire cadets.

The event is a benefit for the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, a non-profit that is raising funds to support local law enforcement.

Tickets are $10 per individual and $25 per family and are available at Mendocino Books, Selzer Realty, Schat's Courthouse Bakery, Harvest Market, and at the door.

Featured entertainment will include a visit by “Avatar,” a tactical robot purchased recently for local police by the Public Safety Foundation. Volunteers from the audience will be invited to drive the robot, which allows police to enter and search crime scenes without endangering lives.

“Red,” a bloodhound purchased this year with assistance of the Foundation, will greet the public. The bloodhound gives the sheriff the ability to track fugitives and lost persons, a need highlighted by events last year.

The barbecue will also feature a demonstration of the sheriff’s K-9 dogs, attacking and restraining a “suspect.”

“This gathering will be fun and it will let folks show their appreciation for our law enforcement professionals,” said Ross Liberty, president of the Public Safety Foundation.

It will also be the first annual meeting for the Foundation, which has more than 200 local donors.

The Public Safety Foundation will host another barbecue on October 20 at Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg. The events are supported by generous donations of Savings Bank of Mendocino County and Harvest Market.

The Foundation’s website is ProtectMendocino.org and the phone is 467-3661.

Bloodhound Red with handler Deputy Dan Lockhart-download full-size photo

Annual Report excerpt - May 24, 2012:

Foundation Sets $20,000 Fund-raising Goal
to Protect Public Safety in National Forest Marijuana Grow-site Cleanups

The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation’s Board of Directors set a fund-raising target of $20,000 to fund up to 450 hours of peace officer time to provide security for volunteer cleanup patrols in the Mendocino National Forest.

A pilot clean-up project beginning June 12 will have security funded by a $4,000 Foundation grant, with matching funds from the Sheriff's office.

The National Forest has been under assault from growers, often gang-related, who have made it dangerous for the public and caused extensive environmental damage. After law enforcement seizes the plants, there is usually a big mess left behind. Volunteers from conservation groups undertake cleanup, but the U.S. Forest Service requires that peace officers accompany them for their own protection. Lack of funding for this extra peace officer duty has stood in the way of cleanups.

Please join us in providing the money to deal with this public safety need that will otherwise go unmet. Our goal is endorsed by the Jere Melo Foundation, sponsor of Take Back the Forest.

Join us as a Member/Donor. Checks to Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, P.O. Box 123, Ukiah CA 95482. Or use our PayPal function at our website: www.protectmendocino.org/join.html

Press Release - Jan. 28, 2012:

Mendocino Public Safety Foundation Makes Initial Grants for Bloodhound, Robot

The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation will make its first $16,000 in grants to local law enforcement to help acquire a bloodhound and a multipurpose search robot. Responding to requests from local law enforcement, the grants are being made using donations received since November from hundreds of citizens and contributions of $1,500 from Northern Aggregates and $600 from the North Coast Builders Exchange.

Sheriff Tom Allman told the Foundation that a bloodhound will be able to find fugitives and lost people, and additionally detect drugs and contraband. He says that having a bloodhound available locally would have been an important asset in the recent search for Aaron Bassler on the Coast. Sheriff Allman stated that "adding a bloodhound to the Sheriff's Office K-9 Division will allow us to search for fugitives and missing persons. We will be working with the three local police departments as well as our neighboring counties to assure that our deputy will be able to assist in times of need." Mendocino County asset forfeiture funds will be added to the Foundation's $4,000 grant for the dog, to cover training and upkeep expenses for the animal.

Ukiah Police Chief Chris Dewey submitted a request for funding in cooperation with the Willits and Fort Bragg departments for a Robotex Avatar tactical robot, which is a rugged high-tech tool used by dozens of police departments to resolve dangerous situations without risk to officers. The Foundation grant will cover $12,000 of the anticipated $27,562 cost of the robot. The robot can be thrown into a building, right itself, and then maneuver by remote control throughout the interior, even climbing stairs. It provides video and audio surveillance and can detect hazardous materials. An arm on the robot can grasp and remove materials, such as potential bombs.

Chief Dewey anticipates that the robot will provide vital assistance in bomb scares, hostage situations, and hazardous chemical spills. “It is only through the efforts of the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, that our police agencies could afford this tool. Tools like this help safeguard officers, and are vital in helping us serve our communities. I speak for all our officers and their appreciation to both the foundation and our community for donating these essential funds to assist law enforcement. Thank you. ”

"We're delighted to be able to help the sheriff and police acquire these tools," said Ross Liberty, president of the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation. "This is how voluntary donations from the public can make our peace officers safer and more effective."

The bloodhound will be owned by the sheriff's department and the robot by the Ukiah police, but both assets will be fully available to all local law enforcement agencies when they are needed.

The Foundation, an IRS-recognized charity, was organized in 2011 to raise private funds to assist local law enforcement, which has been hard-hit by government budget cuts in recent years. The Foundation is especially interested in helping acquire equipment and supplies that will increase the safety and effectiveness of sheriff's deputies and city police officers. Following a fund-raising mailer in November, the Foundation is continuing to accept donations from the public, including local businesses. Donations are tax deductible, depending on the donor's individual tax status.

Unlike some other entities that solicit funds in the name of law enforcement, the Foundation pledges that 100% of every dollar given by general donors will be passed on in grants to local law enforcement. All Foundation personnel are volunteers, and fund-raising costs are funded by separate donations received for that purpose. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors headed by Jim Eddie of Potter Valley, a former County Supervisor.

Donations to the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation can be mailed to P.O. Box 123, Ukiah CA 95482, or made through PayPal on the Foundation's website, www.ProtectMendocino.org. The Foundation can be contacted by email at donate@ProtectMendocino.org.

Press Release - Dec. 11, 2011:

Public Safety Foundation Will Make First Grants to Local Law Enforcement

After its first fund-raising drive, the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation is ready to begin assisting local law enforcement agencies. The Foundation has invited the sheriff and Ukiah, Willits and Ft Bragg police departments to make proposals for equipment acquisition or other projects. All submissions will be considered and, on January 17, 2012, the Foundation will award up to $10,000 in grants.

We extend our thanks to the community for the quick response and all the support received to date. "We are continuing to collect donations and hope to provide more support for law enforcement in the future," said Ross Liberty.

The Foundation was incorporated in May 2011 as a 501(c)(3) charity to collect tax-deductible private donations. All donations will go to one or more of the four local law enforcement agencies.

"With all the cutbacks, there just isn't enough public money for public safety," said Foundation Chairman, Jim Eddie. "Private donations are needed to help the sheriff and police get the tools they need."

The Foundation is inviting individuals and businesses to become members who will make donations every year. Members get a donor bumper sticker and an invitation to the Foundation's annual event. Businesses also receive a wall placard acknowledging their support.

The Foundation's Board of Directors is chaired by Jim Eddie, a lifelong county resident and Potter Valley rancher who served three terms as a Mendocino County Supervisor. Other Board members come from all over the county. Sheriff Tom Allman and the three city police chiefs are ex-officio advisors to the Board. The Foundation's website is www.ProtectMendocino.org, which accepts donations through PayPal. The Foundation's mailing address is P.O. Box 123, Ukiah CA 95482.

Press Release- Nov. 14, 2011:
New Foundation Will Raise Private Donations to Support Mendocino County Law Enforcement

A diverse group of Mendocino County residents has incorporated a non-profit charitable foundation to raise funds to support local law enforcement.

The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation will send out its first fund-raising mailer this week to thousands of households and businesses.  

"We're in this for the long-run," said Jim Eddie, the Foundation's Chairman. "Government funding for our sheriff and police has fallen to an unacceptable level and it is likely to get worse rather than better. It's time for private donors to step up and contribute to protect public  safety," said Eddie.

The Foundation plans to work closely with the sheriff and city police departments to get the most impact from private assistance. Donations will be passed on as grants to the sheriff and the three city police departments to pay for critical equipment and supplies. One example is helping law enforcement acquire and keep police dogs, which can greatly increase the effectiveness and security of peace officers.

Sheriff Tom Allman said, "I am thrilled to work alongside so many people who are striving to help law enforcement provide public safety throughout our county.  It’s exciting to know that 100% of all the contributions will stay right here in Mendocino County."

The Foundation is modeled on dozens of similar non-profits around the U.S.  Depending on individual tax status, private donations of this kind are deductible from federal and state income taxes, and the Foundation has been recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

The Foundation will encourage supporters to become members who will contribute every year, and both households and businesses will receive recognition of their donations.   While no fund-raising target has been established, Eddie expects the Foundation's  income will grow steadily as the public recognizes that its safety depends on maintaining  law enforcement resources.

The Foundation's Board of Directors is headed by Jim Eddie of Potter Valley, chairman, Ross Liberty of Ukiah, president, and Don J. Miller of Fort Bragg, vice president. The seven-member Board is supported by an advisory committee of 14 people from all over the county.  The sheriff and three city police chiefs will be ex-officio advisors to the Board.

Generous support for the Foundation's organizational costs has been donated by Savings Bank of Mendocino, Factory Pipe, Selzer Realty and numerous individuals.

The Foundation can be contacted by emailing info@protectmendocino.org, or at P.O. Box 123, Ukiah, CA 95482

Copy of this press release in pdf format.