ABILENE, Texas (KRBC/KTAB) — A woman who has made fundraising for the Abilene Police Department (APD) a personal goal spoke about the issue at Wednesday’s Kiwanis Club of Abilene meeting.
“How many remember where you were on July 7, 2016 when you heard that five Dallas police officers were ambushed and murdered,” Joy Ellinger, President of the Abilene Police Foundation, said.
Ellinger says she’s still reliving the nightmare of those events, wondering what could’ve been if they’d had the necessary bulletproof vests.
“I immediately thought of our son Logan, who at the time was a police officer in Midland,” she said.
Those “what ifs” have since snowballed into $350,000 worth of assistance, two paid funerals and a new K-9 dog for APD four years later.
“Of that, we’ve given out $225,000 in grants, so what does that tell you? It tells you the needs are real,” she said.
Contrary to their original plan, that money has been going less to department needs.
“So, we have taken more care of individuals’ needs through taking care of outstanding medical bills and financial crises that are not of their own doing,” she said.
Former Abilene Police Chief Melvin Martin said an organization backing police like this would’ve done wonders during his time.
“There are numerous times where perhaps we didn’t have the money for a police officer and his family that needed to travel,” he said.
Ellinger said around Abilene, you can expect the defund the police conversation to stop at the city limits.
“Take care of our department, because let me tell you something, as long as I’m alive in Abilene, Texas, we will never, ever defund our department, but always defend our police department,” she said.
To donate to the Abilene Police Foundation, visit the link here.
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