Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Letter to Supporters

Officer Clarke with youth who recently volunteered
at Young Pheasant Release program.

Dear Supporters,

Our summer events are well under way. Unfortunately, Police Center funds are critically low. High gas prices have impacted our youth programming efforts. Whether it’s the cost of transporting youth to and from programs or picking up supplies, it all adds up.

Your past support has enabled us to provide regular youth programming throughout the year. We truly are in need of your help to continue these events. We’re currently seeking support for these upcoming events and programs:

• The Free Summer Breakfast and Lunch Program has begun. Monday through Friday 30 breakfasts and 60 lunches are made available to area children at the Police Center. Additional donations of hand soap and paper towels are costly supplies that are needed to supplement what is provided by the Food Bank. We urgently need these items to run this program.

• Our annual “Picnic With the Police and Fire Departments” is scheduled for Thursday, July 31, 11:00am – 4:30pm, (rain date Friday 1st August) in Washington Square Park. We are expecting an attendance of over 1,000 people. The picnic is a fun time for children and families in the community. Each year we offer free food, drinks and prizes for the families that attend. This is a big event and requires much planning and community support.

If you are interested in helping make our event a success, please consider donating: Hamburgers, hot dogs, rolls, drinks, ice (lots of ice for snow cones), snacks, napkins, paper plates, cups, Polaroid film, game prizes, face paints, etc. for approximately 900 neighborhood children.

If you wish to make a monetary donation, checks may be made out to the “Northside Community Police Center Fund” and mailed to 255 Wolf St, Syracuse, N.Y. 13208. Donations may be dropped off at the Northside Community Police Center or one of the Police Center volunteers will pick the items up at your business.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions, want to volunteer your time or the time of your employees, please contact me at 471-3257. Since this is a community event, please bring your families and employees to the picnic for lunch.

• Our Summer Camping Trip will take place in August. We will be in need of donations for that event. Details will be posted on our site.

• My daughter Alyssa recently graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College and is assisting us again this summer with the Free Meal Program. She is also planning reading and craft making activities for the children. Donations to assist with the purchase of supplies are needed.

An easy way to help us reduce expenses is to link with us online. Many of you visited our new website when it was launched in March, and since then we've seen steady growth and regular visitors from around the world. Subscribers have increased dramatically in recent weeks, and we appreciate those of you who are loyal readers.

Please continue to visit our website www.northsidepolice.com to access all the latest information on the main page. But don’t stop there. We need you to link with us so that updates can be sent to you in a timely fashion by email instead of snail mail.

The recent postage increase makes printing and mailing 2,000 letters and cards five times or more per year a burden on the budget. The letters have been posted on our site since January, along with frequent updates and articles of interest to supporters. The photos included in the cards can be accessed from our site as well, along with many more. Now you can subscribe to the blog from the main page of our website and receive our updates automatically.

In addition, please get added to our email list. To do so, go to our website home page, click on “Contact” and fill out the form, including your email address.

In other news, the Syracuse Police Dept. recently transitioned over to a new handgun. We are now carrying the Smith & Wesson M&P 45. As a Firearms Instructor, I have assisted with the transition classes over the past few months. I’ll be writing a blog post on the new handguns in the near future.

Last week, I assisted our DARE officers with their summer youth program, “G.R.E.A.T.” (Gang Resistance Education and Training). My role consisted of team building and instruction on the Ropes Challenge Course. Following that session, I became aware that the Young Pheasant Release program needed volunteers to assist in affixing blinders on the birds. So I asked the group and a few children volunteered to assist. You can read more about these events by visiting our site. The next group of G.R.E.A.T. youth will be going through the program July 28th-August 1st. I’ll be working with them again.

Remember, subscribe online to receive updates on these and other things happening at the Police Center.


James K. Clarke
Police Officer
Northside Community Police Center

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