Agency being nominated
Redlands PD and Redlands Police Community Foundation
What organization / program will receive the award funds
Redlands Police Community Foundation
Tell us about how this agency has made an impact in the community. Has this agency been working on a specific community project- or have goals to complete one? Please be detailed.
In 2018, the RPD worked with members of the community to form the Redlands Police Community Foundation (RPCF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides additional financial support beyond the city’s general budget to the department’s community policing programs that help strengthen the relationship between the police and the community of Redlands.
The following is a list and summary of various police programs RPD fosters to build and strengthen the Redlands community. These programs serve as the foundation for RPD’s community policing strategy and could easily be replicated by other police departments across the nation. In fact, numerous police departments in the country have been trained on several of these programs.
Heroes and Helpers
For the last nine years, RPD has held a Heroes and Helpers event at a local retail store. Bolstered by grants from the retailers, the RPCF typically raises an additional $7,000-$12,000 each year to take on average 100 disadvantaged students on a shopping trip where the youth are partnered with an officer to select merchandise. All of the students are referred by local principals, clergy, and other community leaders. It is humbling to see most of these youth put aside their own wants and select items of necessity like soap, deodorant, and socks, or gifts for their siblings.
RPD helps organize the Juneteenth celebration each year at Israel Beal Park. The park is named after Redlands pioneer and former slave, Israel Beal. Officers are on hand to participate in youth activities and promote cultural diversity in the Redlands’ community.
Unity in the Community
The Unity in the Community taskforce was founded in 2016, during a time in our nation where great civil unrest across the country between law enforcement and people of color arose. The Unity in the Community group was birthed as a collaboration of pastors, community leaders, educators, and law enforcement to address the growing gap between police officers and people of color. The taskforce meets at the RPD on a routine basis.
Cops N Clergy Network
The Cops N Clergy Network is a group of local pastors that partner with the RPD to address social justice and other issues in the Inland Empire region. Meetings take place in which RPD officers present on a variety of topics.
Redlands Prayer Walk
In the wake of a quadruple shooting that left two Redlands teenagers dead in 2011, an annual prayer walk takes place every January 5. In the past, more than 800 community members have joined the RPD and community supporters for a prayer vigil and walk. People meet at the corner of Sun Avenue and Post Street, where one of the teenage victims died after he was shot. From there, everyone walks to Herald Street, Brockton Avenue, and Oxford Drive, ending at the playground where the initial shooting took place.
Homeruns and Heroes
RPCF and other community partners sponsor a trip to Angel Stadium for middle school students who are a part of the Micah House afterschool program. For most of the students, this is the first time they have ever been to a major league baseball stadium. It is an incredible night where the youth have the opportunity to bond with each other and the police officers who chaperone the event.
Tailgate with a Cop
For the last 15 years, RPD has partnered with the University of Redlands to provide a tailgate with a cop event before one of its home football games. The Redlands Police Officers Association (RPOA) brings out its barbecue trailer to cook hamburgers and hot dogs for all youth and their families before the game. The youth then team up with officers to take part in a flag football game and all participants are admitted free of charge to the football game. The intent of the program is to expose disadvantaged students to campus life and inspire them to excel in their studies.
In years past, RPD has held an annual Christmas Block Party each year where the community youth had the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap, interact with police officers, and participate in several booth activities. The pandemic led to the 2020 block party being cancelled, but that did not stop RPD efforts at cheering up the students during the holidays. Instead of the children coming to the Redlands Community Center to receive their present, teams of RPD officers left presents at the doorstep of each participating child. In 2020, officers provided presents to over 200 youth.
Redlands Emergency Services Academy (RESA)
In 1999, the Redlands Fire and Police Departments, Crafton Hills College, the University of Redlands, and the Redlands Unified School District looked for a way to encourage, train, and mentor local students interested in emergency services careers. RESA was designed to provide a positive influence on local youth, give local high-school graduates a start in job training, and foster a talented pool of local recruits.
RESA was created as a partnership of the police and fire departments, school district, and community college as a proactive effort. Its goal is to provide graduating high-school seniors with positive exposure to the challenges, benefits, and rewards of a career in law enforcement or emergency fire services. The week-long live-in academy stresses the development of leadership skills and teamwork and the value of making a meaningful contribution to one’s community. RESA recently gradated its 22nd class.
Angels’ Closet Partnership
Angels’ Closet Charities collects and distributes new and gently used school clothes, formal attire, business attire, graduation caps and gowns, accessories, and toiletries for students of the Redlands Unified School District. They rely solely upon the generosity of the community for clothing and donations. RPD officers hold a clothing drive each year and present donated clothes to Angels’ Closet.
Bats and Badges
Every year, the RPOA participates in the annual Bats and Badges game with the Redlands Baseball Youth Xtreme Team. The Xtreme Team is comprised of physically challenged youth who have a passion of playing the game of baseball. Officers will donate baseball and softball equipment to the team and provide a barbecue lunch for the participants and their families.
Mobile Book Plane
With over a thousand new books on the shelves, the mobile book plane has made numerous voyages to various events where children have eagerly raced into the book aircraft, interacted with law enforcement, and flew away with a new book they could take home. With the generous donation of the book plane from Hangar 24 Charities and books supplied by The Literacy Club, the RPD now has another instrument with which they can positively engage the children in the community for years to come.
Redlands Neighborhood Parade
Each Christmas, RPD organizes a Redlands Neighborhood parade where vehicles from every city department transcend on the Northside community and parade through the neighborhood handing out presents and candy canes to children.
Redlands Street Smart Self-Defense Program
Street Smart is a practical and street wise self-defense system that offers students a foundation to build self-defense skills as well as structure and self-discipline. The program has been operating for over 20 years and is under the umbrella of the Redlands Police Department. The class is taught by a 25-year veteran officer of the department and a life-long student of martial arts.
Touch a Truck
Each year, RPD brings it rescue vehicle to the community event where youth can sit, climb, and peruse the vehicle while interacting with police officers.
Tip a Cop
Each year, RPD officers partner with the Special Olympics and its athletes to raise money for the Special Olympics by participating in Tip Cop fundraisers at local eateries such as Red Robin. Officers will act as food service workers taking orders and delivering food to the restaurant tables. All tips benefit the Special Olympics and its athletes.
Law Enforcement Torch Run- Special Olympics
Every year, officers from RPD participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. What started in 1981 as a flicker of hope for Special Olympics has now become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympic athletes worldwide. RPD even has its own Special Olympic athlete that serves in the RPD’s Citizen Volunteer Unit and takes part in each torch relay event.
Back 2 School Jam
Each year, RPD and a few of its community partners give away in excess of 800 backpacks filled with school supplies and raffle off bicycles to students in need at a family-friendly community event. The RPOA barbecue is utilized to feed everybody attending the event.
Northside Vaccination Clinic
During the pandemic, RPD partnered with Redlands Community Hospital, the Redlands Unified School District, the University of Redlands, and several local community and faith organizations to offer a coronavirus vaccination clinic benefiting underserved communities. Working with the Cops & Clergy Network, the Common Vision Coalition, the Northside Impact Committee, Redlands Second Baptist Church, and Community Missionary Baptist Church, the clinic offered free vaccinations to eligible area residents, specifically focused on reaching underserved communities that are disproportionally affected by COVID-19. The RPCF provided pizza for all of the healthcare workers at the event.
The Midnight Hoops basketball program, which is a partnership of RPD and the Second Baptist Church in Redlands, aims to keep youth healthy and out of trouble while building relationships with police officers. The program gives the students a chance to interact with law enforcement on a basketball court outside of uniform.
Community Food Drive
When the pandemic hit and most businesses closed down, a strain was placed on the homeless community as most of the organizations they depended on closed their doors. The Redlands Charitable Resource Coalition with the assistance of RPD officers identified three locations in the City to conduct a community food drive. RPD personnel ensured that hygiene kits were available for homeless at the sites. To date, the sites have distributed over 44,000 lunches that have been donated by the community.
Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration
RPD hosts a Thanksgiving meal for homeless individuals and their families at a local park. Powered by the RPOA barbecue trailer, 20 turkeys are smoked overnight. Once daylight comes, officers cook mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. All food is donated by businesses and service groups. Over 200 meals are served.
Senior Center Thanksgiving
The RPCF provides an annual thanksgiving dinner to senior citizens at the Joslyn Senior Center. Members of the RPD serve a prepared meal and provide company and holiday cheer to the seniors of the community.
Cops & Kids Softball Game
RPD partners with San Manuel Stadium and the Inland Empire 66ers to host a "Cops & Kids" softball event every year. The event, which is sponsored by the RPCF and Toyota of Redlands, welcomes youngsters from the Redlands Unified School District as they take part in a friendly softball game against police officers from the Redlands Police Department. The children are the guests of honor at a cook-out and are then recognized when they take the field with the 66ers before the game
Loma Linda Children’s Hospital Cops for Kids Fly-In
Every year, dozens of officers from the surrounding area help bring smiles and laughter to the youngest patients at Loma Linda University Hospital by conducting a toy drive and personally delivering the toys to the children. The delivery starts with a grand entrance of four law enforcement helicopters hovering over the hospital and landing on the lawn, followed by a parade of sirens from police motorcycles, squad cars and SWAT vehicles — all while young patients and their families stand in awe and excitement. After the grand arrival, patients are able to interact with officers, step into helicopter cockpits, and jump into law enforcement vehicles. Each child receives a sticker and a gift from an officer. For those patients too sick to leave their rooms, officers make a special hand delivery of toys to the children.
Read Across America
Every year, RPD officers participate in Read Across America by attending local elementary school classrooms and reading books to the students. Their efforts are meant to promote reading while positively interacting with the youth of the community. Many officers will have the students speak to dispatchers over the radio and view their police car.
Not In Our Town (NOIT)
RPD has engaged with Not In Our Town, an organization whose mission is to stop hate, address bullying, and build safe and inclusive communities for all. RPD has organized a screening of a NOIT film that is aimed at preventing hate crimes and violence.
Every year, RPD hosts two to three bike rodeos in the community where children are taught the rules of the road that apply to bicycles. Participants are given a bike helmet and are entered into an opportunity drawing for bicycles supplied by the RPCF. The rodeo includes free safety demonstrations, a bicycle safety road course, and instruction in proper wear and adjustment of bicycle helmets. Members of the Citizens Volunteer Unit offer free bicycle registration and provide fingerprint kits to children. Free food and games are provided
Coptober Community Fair
The RPCF partners with Ranch Market and hosts a festival type event where community members can interact with law enforcement personnel and partake in booth activities. Children have the opportunity to win a bicycle.
Coffee/Cookies/Tamales with a Cop
RPD hosts various events throughout the year where citizens and business owners can sit down with their police officers and enjoy coffee/cookies/tamales while asking questions about the crime and other issues in their community. The Tamale with A Cop events is always a well-attended event. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a tamale?
Navidad En El Barrio
For the last 25 years, RPD has partnered with the Redlands Northsdie Impact Committee to host Navidad En El Barrio. The mission is to provide a Christmas meal to families who often feel marginalized and forgotten by society. Each year, over 500 meals are put together and distributed.
Named after the participating school (Crafton Elementary School), the Crafton Café is an off-campus learning resource center offering homework help, free internet access, and other programs to bolster academic performance while improving attendance and suspension rates. Police personnel are on site the first Wednesday of each month to teach students team-building exercises they can use in and outside the classroom. The RPCF purchases pizza for all of the participating students.
Over the years, RPD has established itself as a leader in the community policing strategy as it routinely strives to foster positive police/community interaction. Although RPD has only two officers assigned to its Community Policing Unit, every officer is expected to partake in promoting police legitimacy by practicing community policing. The aforementioned programs demonstrate how RPD strives to build relationships with community, and they only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the complete picture of community policing at RPD. Not mentioned are the daily, individual efforts where officers go above and beyond when it comes to serving the public. RPD even has a group of employees that formed a nonprofit organization called Blue Collar Athletics whose mission is to provide organizations, families, and community youth the opportunity to thrive by supporting and promoting mentorship, athletic participation, fitness events, and healthy lifestyle options.
When it comes to addressing crime in Redlands, it takes a village to keep the community safe. RPD knows that its goals and objectives can only be met with the support of the community and in the end, if we all work together, Redlands will be a much safer community to live in. RPD would serve as a model example for the 2021 RISE Award. On behalf of the entire Redlands community, thank you for considering the Redlands Police Department for this prestigious award.