Looking for a way to aid and support the Bradenton Police Department, a local organization has started a new charitable fund.
The Manatee Community Foundation, together with the Bradenton Police Department, established the Bradenton Blue Foundation, which opened Friday.
Through charitable gifts, the Bradenton Blue Foundation will support the needs of BPD, ranging from community outreach, training, officer recognition and support in the event of a catastrophic occurrence that may affect personnel.
Susie Bowie, executive director of Manatee Community Foundation, said it’s a way to partner with BPD and give community members a way to contribute to the department that will count as a tax-deductible charitable gift.
“So many people in our community care deeply about law enforcement officers that protect us every day, Bowie said.
Police department officials are the advisers for the foundation, Bowie said, so police will be able to directly inform the foundation of its needs.
“We’re really working with (Chief Melanie) Bevan and her group to make sure their needs are met,” Bowie said.
A $5,000 grant to BPD, thanks to a gift from the MCF, was the first to come from the fund. The money will provide the department with funding to purchase naloxone, an opioid overdose effects reversal drug.
“This has been an area of major concern for BPD, and we welcome any assistance towards accessing additional resources to help us better care for the members of our community,” Chief Melanie Bevan said in a press release.
“That’s a very strong need in our community. The opioid and heroin epidemic is particularly strong in Manatee County and we want to make sure that officers walking in on overdose situations are empowered to help those people as best they can,” Bowie said.
The MCF, founded in 1998, has more than 200 funds that address community needs in human services, health, animal welfare, arts and culture and the environment, among others.
Make a donation
For more information on making a charitable donation to the Bradenton Blue Foundation, contact Manatee Community Foundation executive director, Susie Bowie, at 941-556-5444.