Ansonia church, businesses, public buy ballistic helmets for Ansonia PD
ANSONIA-Five down and at least 36 more to go.
Several city businesses donated money to the First Baptist Church’s police department fund-raising event to purchase at least 41 ballistic helmets for the city’s police department.
Maude Hinson, wife of the Rev. John Hinson, told those gathered Sunday at the third annual Back the Blue fund-raising event Crave restaurant, Fitzpatrick’s car dealership, Fletcher-Thompson architects, Liberty Bank and Valley Electric and Lighting each agreed to fund the purchase of one helmet. People’s United Bank also made a sizable donation to be used to either purchase equipment or pay for the fund-raising efforts.
“We’re grateful for all the help we received,” Hinson said. “But there’s more work to be done.”
Bad Sons brewery in Derby will be conducting a month-long event later this year to help Hinson reach her $40,000 goal.
“That’s a big event,” Hinson said. “We may have some smaller ones along the way.”
At least 100 people attended Sunday afternoon’s event at the church located on 237 Prindle Avenue. It came at a time that Mayor David Cassetti is readying the unveiling of a new police headquarters to be located downtown on 65 Main Street.
“This is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation to the Ansonia Police Department for what their officers do every day,” said State Sen. George Logan, a city resident. “They allow us to enjoy all the perks and freedoms and rarely do they ever ask us to help them...Let’s help keep them safe on a daily basis.”
Police Chief Kevin Hale said shortly after the 2016 shootings of police officers in Houston and Baton Rouge he was approached by the Hinsons who offered to conduct the first Police Appreciation day.
“They said they’d also like to raise money for us and asked: “What do you need?” Hale recalled.
So he thought about it. He decided the best equipment would be items enabling first responders to reach and treat victims in a mass shooting.
“In those incidents the wounded victims often bleed out because first responders can’t safely reach them,” Hale said.
So the first year the $9,000 raised was used to purchase belt trauma kits for each officer. Last year the $17,000 raised purchased three collapsible ballistic shields. The Farrel-Pomini Co., one of the Valley’s oldest businesses, purchased one.
This year Maude Hinson convinced three downtown restaurants—Copper City Grill, Crave and Lulu Pazzo—to conduct Tip-A-Cop nights to bolster the fund raising.
However Hinson plans to keep the fund-raising going until January. And then she’ll start working on bigger plans for next year’s event.
“I’d love to raffle a Harley-Davidson motorcycle,” she said. “So if they are reading this, please contact me.”
(People can donate by visiting www.firstbaptistansonia.com and clicking on the Honor Ansonia Blue shield or mailing a check to First Baptist Church, 235 Prindle Avenue, Ansonia, Ct. 06401.