NewsPublic AffairsGovernment / November 19, 2013

Five Months In, Public Safety Foundation Making Impact

Sam Klemet
Five Months In, Public Safety Foundation Making Impact

More than five months since its creation, leaders are touting the success of the Indy Public Safety Foundation.

The effort aims to raise money from business leaders to support the city’s fire and police officers.

The nonprofit foundation kicked off in June and since then, it has raised more than $185,000.

Foundation Chair Melissa Proffitt Reese says the money is key to financing public safety needs that would otherwise go unfunded.

"What we are trying to do on the financial side is raise money in areas in which we cannot get either funding through budgeting, grants, federal or state or local monies," she said.  "And have private business leaders both individually and through their corporate institutions provide that kind of support."

The volunteer board includes former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, public safety officials, and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Proffitt Reese says a key focus now is on supervisor training and counseling.

"A lot of times because of financial pressures they are working a couple jobs and within the culture of public safety, it's viewed as a weakness to ask for help, as opposed to something that you should do," she said.  "We want to work very hard to change the attitude and the culture with regard to that."

The foundation already awarded 12 mini grants of between $5,000 and $10,000 to combat violent crime.

"They are helping us tremendously.  Just the training for first line supervisors that they are working on will have a tremendous benefit to our work force," said Public Safety Director, Troy Riggs.  "Only in Indianapolis could something like this happen so fast."