Paducah Bank is joining with the Paducah community to foster strong, positive relationships between police and those they seek to protect.
News feeds around the nation have been full of shootings, protests, and nation-wide outrage of late. Some of that has resulted from rifts between police departments and the communities they’ve sworn to protect.
Members of the Paducah Police Department have taken steps to make sure such a disassociation never encroaches on the community they preserve and protect. Chief of Police Brandon Barnhill says he believes establishing The Police Foundation of Paducah-McCracken County, Inc. will create a way to further tie his force to the Paducah public.
“We felt like this was an opportunity for us to provide an open door or an avenue for the community to further support some of our initiatives,” he said.
The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to raise funds and to give local police extra resources for improving public safety, strengthening community partnerships, and increasing employee development. Barnhill says the City of Paducah has given his department sufficient funding, but this new effort will raise money for extra programs and training and will, hopefully, strengthen the force’s bond with the local community.
“We see the value of relationships, transparency, an open-door policy, and of opening lines of communication with the community,” Barnhill says.
By investing in the Paducah Police Department’s foundation, the com-munity will help fund programs like improved training courses, continuing education, and the purchase of new technology for police use. But, Barnhill says, strengthening the relationship between the force and the community is still the foundation’s ultimate focus. It’s a goal that, the chief says, matters now more than ever.
“Relationships have to have a strong foundational level at which you know people in the community, they know you as an individual, and they know your principles,” he says. “They know how you manage an agency as large as a police department.”
“The success of a community has much to do with the success of the institutions that form the basis of its safety and security,” said Joe Framptom, a member of the Paducah Police Foundation board. “I personally believe that the creation of this organization will be a constructive means of supporting the goals of our local police force and will be a proactive impetus to maintaining strong, productive alliances between the members of the Paducah police and the people in our community. Our bank is pleased that we can be a part of this new endeavor. This is one more way each of us at Paducah Bank can creatively and beneficially serve our community.”
Board Chairman Jim Garrett wholeheartedly agrees. “I am honored to serve on the new Police Foundation’s board and hope that businesses and individuals in the Paducah community will consider supporting our efforts,” Garrett says. “We hope to help build a police force capable of dealing with the complexity of the 21st century. It is imperative that we assist our officers with additional education and enhanced opportunities for positive interaction with the community it serves. Every person can make a difference, no matter how big or small, as long as we have a common goal in mind.”
Anyone who would like to know more about the organization or who would like to donate online can visit www.paducahpolicefoundation.org. Donations may be made by mail to the Police Foundation of Paducah-McCracken County, Inc., P.O. Box 594, Paducah, KY 42002-0594. Donations can also be made in person at any Paducah Bank location.