KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 10/24/10, 7:30 AM & 10:30 AM on KTTU "In Focus"

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Rob LeMaster, Executive Director, Tucson Police Foundation, an independent, non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to fostering public safety through community building, education and outreach.

LeMaster says the mission of TPF is to foster public safety through community building, education, and outreach. In concert with the Tucson Police Department, the foundation works with a range of community safety advocates to develop and implement public safety and crime prevention programs.  He says the Foundation was founded in 2003 in the aftermath of TPD budget cuts of some worthwhile projects that just didn’t “make the final cut.”  He says while the city budget provides the necessary resources to fund the operations of the Tucson Police Department, a number of important community programs continue to be threatened or cut due to lack of funding. He says through a partnership with Target, the Foundation recently acquired equipment for TPD for graffiti abatement and downtown revitalization policing.  He says through members and donors the Foundation was able to fund training for TPD detectives and emergency communications workers, TASERS for TPD patrol officers, vests and equipment for the TPD SWAT Team, as-well-as “bite (training) suits" for K-9 officers.

LeMaster says another major project that returns something to the community is the Safe Teen Accident Reduction Training program for teens aged 16 to 19. He says TPF officers teach teen drivers off-road recovery, evasive steering, skid recovery and more, at the TPD Training Academy driving course.