From The Macon Telegraph May 11, 2011
Four months after its creation, the Macon-Bibb Law Enforcement Foundation is laying the groundwork to help Macon police and Bibb County deputies.
The foundation has written a mission statement and is drafting bylaws. Board members also are working to attain non-profit status and become incorporated, said Macon Regional CrimeStoppers board Chairman Warren Selby, who also serves as chairman of the foundation’s board of directors.
“We’re excited and we’re moving forward,” he said.
Serving along with Selby on the board are Vice Chairman Patrick Goff, Secretary Beverly Knight Olson and Treasurer Jean Stroud. Rick Lanford is grants coordinator, Dele Reichert is fundraising chairwoman, and Walter Timley is community outreach chairman.
The board has held two organizational meetings and opened up a bank account.
About half of the $110,000 seed money donated by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will be used for start-up expenses. The rest will be used for funding projects, equipment and other law enforcement needs.
The board is having conversations about what its first purchases will be, but it hasn’t made any concrete decisions, Goff said.
Selby said he hopes the foundation will be able to start making purchases for law enforcement in about 90 days.
Macon Police Chief Mike Burns, Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena and Bibb County Campus Police Chief Daniel DeCoursey, who have been chosen to serve on a board of advisers for the foundation, will meet semiannually to set funding priorities for the foundation, Selby said.
Stroud said she views the foundation as a way the community can become an extension of public safety.
“It’s not to do the job of the City Council or county commissioners. They have a duty to make sure their budgets include funding for public safety,” she said. “But I think there’s more we can do.”
The foundation will help police and deputies buy equipment and fund training that the city and county can’t afford, said Olson, a Knight Foundation trustee.
“It’s anything to further the purpose of the police and the sheriff’s office,” she said.
The foundation also may fund law enforcement awards, Olson said.
Stroud said the foundation also is a way of helping improve the morale of police officers and deputies.
“I just don’t know that our police officers feel the community is behind them,” she said.
A website for the foundation is under construction.
Besides soliciting donations, the foundation also will be seeking out grants, Selby said.
Anyone wishing to donate to the foundation can send a check made out to the Macon-Bibb Law Enforcement Foundation in care of Macon Regional CrimeStoppers, P.O. Box 6276, Macon, GA 31208-6276.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.