It has been 10 weeks since Mindy Goodall, the Executive Director of this organization for 10 years, handed those considerable responsibilities to me and capped off a remarkable decade of growth, allowing the foundation to exceed its goals in serving the Charlottesville Police Department, and the community-at-large. Mindy worked tirelessly along with our Board of Directors to build critically important relationships and to develop and enhance programs that have in so many ways become the bedrock of our organization.
These programs include our housing grants, which help officers to live in the community they serve; supporting advanced training programs for our officers; providing essential safety supplies; supporting the K9 program; and recognizing the kind of service beyond the call that so many of our officers exemplify on a regular basis. Equally important are the range of community programs we support, which help CPD members build bridges throughout our city that give community members a chance to get to know the men and women behind the badge.
I join with our entire board in offering our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Mindy, who also did a remarkable job of getting me up to speed quickly. Well, that is, until the COVID-19 crisis changed all of our lives so drastically. I was looking forward to visiting all parts of our community and to starting my own relationships with our police officers, community organizations, neighborhoods, board members, sponsors, donors, volunteers and companion non-profits. I still look forward to doing that as soon as I can!
In the meantime, the work of CPD has been focused exclusively and appropriately on helping our citizens through the difficult realities we face related to this pandemic. All of our community outreach events are delayed until it is safe to gather. I’ve been deeply engaged in making introductions, planning and assessing like so many of you are doing – one Zoom call at a time!
At the same time, we have worked in this new environment to continue initiatives aligned with our core mission. These included keeping stakeholders abreast of the current needs of CPD through our eNewsletter, and engaging with you, our supporters, to help us to purchase gift cards at local restaurants for our officers, as well as answering a shortage of safety supplies by purchasing pre-packed emergency kits. As always, you responded immediately, and with an open heart.
The spirit of partnership and generosity in our community has inspired all of us during this crisis. As we move forward, we know that new challenges await. Given what we know will be a major downsizing in our economy, local municipal funds will be greatly impacted, and the gap that the CPF fills for our police officers will widen significantly. We are grateful for your continued support as we face these times together.