Community involvement is important to public safety. “The [Edina Crime Prevention Fund or ECPF] was formed 50 years ago with the support of the community," Denny Maetzold, ECPF treasurer and former Edina mayor, says. “Over the years, funding rewards has been the core of our mission. The community enthusiastically supported our mission.”
So enthusiastically that Maetzold estimates the non-profit, volunteer-run organization has donated more than $2 million over the past five decades.
“We help fill a gap for police department programs and equipment,” he says.
The fund’s goal is to support the programs of the Edina Police Department through community outreach. They finance the foot patrol over the holiday season at 50th and France, and the bicycle and motorcycle patrols. It's best known for its support of the K-9 Unit and has also contributed to a memorial garden at City Hall.
“Our funds support our K-9 unit. That includes purchasing the dogs, training the dogs, caring for their vet bills, providing for their care even after they retire,” Shelly Loberg, board member and vice president of the Edina Chamber of Commerce, says.
ECPF also helps pay for the junior police program in elementary schools, community outreach programs and any extra equipment.
“People don’t realize the things that aren’t in budgets that are needed,” Jon Barnett, board chair, says. “There’s things that come up all the time that aren’t in the budget that the police would like to have to help us with crime prevention and help our officers and department make our community safer … Recently we granted a request for funding of face masks and gloves for our officers to assist with their protection from COVID-19.”
Chief of police Dave Nelson is also on the board. “I can’t say enough about the ECPF and how much benefit it is,” Nelson says, adding the police force’s budget is set every two years and requires advance planning with little wiggle room.
The ECPF steps in when an unexpected need arises. But, one of its biggest fund raising events is the Fall into the Arts Festival typically held in September. This year's event has been cancelled due to health conerns surrounding the pandemic. But you can still support the ECPF by going to edinacrimefund.org.