Idaho Falls, Idaho – Nov. 16, 2021 – Over the last year and a half, a group of local business and community leaders have come together with a common goal: promote public safety by providing additional resources in support of our local law enforcement community. As a result of these efforts, the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation (GIFPF) has now been founded as an independent vehicle for southeast Idaho businesses, community organizations, and individuals to show their appreciation of all those who wear the blue uniform.
This new foundation will provide support, resources and financial assistance for law enforcement officers throughout the entire region. This might come in the form of offering grants for new equipment, additional training, and mental health services or providing resources for an officer to take immediate action to help a person in need (e.g. purchasing food, fuel, a coat for a child, or a crib for a family).
Specifically, the GIFPF is focused on helping the Idaho Falls Police Department, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, and Idaho State Police (District 6), but they anticipate some of their activities will bolster law enforcement officers and their families across a much larger region.
For example, their first event is to bring in Police Chief Robert White, a prominent national trainer, to address the important subject, “emotional survival for law enforcement.” Law enforcement officers from all over the state are eager to attend this training on Feb. 2-3, 2022.
Chief White has been a co-instructor with this topic’s pre-eminent authority, Dr. Kevin Gilmartin, for more than 15 years. Chief White served for 31 years with the Flagstaff Police Department before retiring. The two-day training for law enforcement officers and their spouses will be held in Idaho Falls, and it helps them to deal with the unique mental and emotional challenges of this profession.
“Today, law enforcement in Idaho faces numerous challenges,” GIFPF Chair and Bank of Idaho CEO Jeff Newgard said. “With the support of GIFPF, our law enforcement agencies will have an additional resource to help provide the tools and training for the men and women who keep our community safe need to do their best work, as well as provide them with the necessary emotional and physical support they deserve.”
Since its establishment, the foundation’s board members have donated hundreds of hours of time to help the organization take flight. In addition, several of the founding members from the area’s largest businesses – Ball Ventures, Bank of Idaho, and Melaleuca – kickstarted the Foundation by making financial donations and significant in-kind contributions. They believe their investment will pay major dividends for the community.
“Having effective law enforcement is vital for a safe community and helps provide a high quality of life,” said Eric Isom, GIFPF vice chair who is Ball Ventures’ Chief Development Officer. “Our police officers and department staff need our support.”
The board of directors consists of these individuals:
- Jeff Newgard, GIFPF chair, CEO, Bank of Idaho
- Eric Isom, GIFPF vice chair, Chief Development Officer, Ball Ventures
- Chris Pelkola Lee, GIFPF treasurer, broker/owner, simpLEE HOME®
- Royce Clements, GIFPF secretary, (retired) Captain, Idaho Falls Police Department
- Tony Lima, GIFPF communications chair, Vice President of Melaleuca
- Tyler Kraupp, GIFPF fundraising chair, Director of Marketing, Bank of Idaho
- Don Stevens, GIFPF program chair, (retired) INL
- Janet Allen, Owner/Clinical Director, Creekside Counseling
- Liz Yanez, Clinical Director, Behavioral Health Crisis Center of East Idaho
The GIFPF’s advisory members are Austin Allen, attorney at Hopkins Roden, and Jeff Siler, CPA, at WIPFLI.
“At IFPD, we believe that public safety is a community concern – one that is most effectively tackled when a community and their police officers work together towards that common goal,” said IFPD Chief Bryce Johnson. “The same is true in Idaho Falls. Through the efforts of the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation, we are working hand in hand with our community members to create a safer city and to maintain the best qualities of Idaho Falls.”
“I would like to express my support of the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation,” said Bonneville County Sheriff Sam Hulse. “When I first learned of the foundation being formed, I was excited to learn of the concept and the benefactors from our community that were willing to provide their time and money to support first responders in our area. The foundation provides an opportunity for businesses and others to learn of the current challenges of local first responders and find innovative ways to support those ever-changing and critical needs.”
Visit policefoundationif.org to learn more and donate in support of your local law enforcement community.