Community Fundraiser for Ansonia PD Sunday
ANSONIA-For the third consecutive year the First Baptist church will conduct a fundraiser hoping to purchase ballistic shields for cruisers as well as helmets and defibrillator for the local police department.
Called Back the Blue the event will take place Sunday beginning at 4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 235 Prindle Avenue.
“It’s purpose is two-fold,” said Maude Hinson, wife of Pastor John Hinson. “We want our officers to make it home safely after their shift everyday so we are helping buy them lifesaving equipment. Secondly it brings our community together. Residents will get to know our police officers and our police officers will know they are appreciated.”
This is the third year the church is conducting a fundraiser for police. They raised $17,000 last year and $9,000 the year before. They began the annual event in 2016 following the shooting of officers in Louisiana and Texas.
“Its a great event,” said Police Chief Kevin Hale. “Not only are they raising funds to help us buy much needed equipment but it gives the community a chance to meet my officers and vice versa. I can’t tell you how important that is.”
In 2016 Hale said he was able to purchase a belt trauma kit for his officers to use in emergency situation. Last year he bought three hand-held ballistic shields which can be used in a riot or active shooting event and six automated external defibrillators.
“In a lot of mass shooting events victims die because they are pinned down,” he said. “If we ever had an event like that these ballistic shields would help us reach them and save lives.”
This year, he hopes to be able to buy a ballistic helmet for each of his 46 officers.
“They’re expensive,” he said. “They range from $300 to $700 each but they are lifesavers.”
The event will include a raffle with 48 prizes totaling $5,600 and door prizes. There will music from Backbeat and line dancing offered by Texas Roadhouse. Children can stay occupied in the bouncy house, the petting zoo, or riding JC’s ponies. There will be free food donated by Izzo Family Properties.
Fund raising will continue through the end of the year. It got a start recently when the church arranged with Crave, Copper City and Lulu Pazzo, all Main Street restaurants to conduct Tip-A-Cop nights.
“Libby Meissner, Crave’s owner, matched all the donations and one of her servers, Phil Davis, gave us all his tips that night,” said Hinson.
She said Bad Sons Brewery on Derby’s Roosevelt Drive also is arranging a fund-raising event for the program.
(Anyone wishing to donate may write a check to First Baptist Church with a memo of Ansonia PD fundraiser, take out a pledge card during the event or donate online by going to www.firstbaptist ansonia.com and clicking on the Honor Ansonia Blue shield.)