Police and other law enforcement departments are generally funded through tax revenue or, in some cases, through community fees. However, certain programs or projects fall outside of the department's operational budget. For instance, a local police force may implement an Internet safety program for local schools, or a department may create a scholarship for the children of a fallen comrade. Money for these projects is often generated through fundraisers.
Tip a Cop
Work with a local restaurant for a "Tip a Cop" promotion. Advertise a date when officers will tend bar and wait tables at the participating restaurant. All tips earned go toward the fundraiser. Some restaurants will donate a percentage of the day's receipts to the cause.
Bail 'em Out
Place a fake jail cell in a popular location like a shopping center or town square. Enlist local business people, politicians and even officers to participate. Each person is given a time when he is "arrested" and put in "jail." Friends, family and colleagues can donate money for his "bail." Set the amount of bail for each prisoner in advance. For a twist, people can also donate a certain amount to keep the jailbird locked up. This money does not count toward the bail.
Sell rubber wristbands in support of local law enforcement or in honor of a specific officer. Adorn the bands with the department's motto or the name of the lost colleague. Use the colors of the department or city or make them red, white and blue. For a lost member of the force, create the bands in his favorite color.
Create a course with various skills for officers to compete against each other. Include a tricycle race, doughnut eating contest, paintball shooting range and uniform race. Pit teams of officers against each other or enlist neighboring departments to compete. Award a trophy to the winning team or officer and make the contest an annual event. Charge for admission and sell booth space to local vendors.
If allowed by the local union or law enforcement association, individual officers can serve as security at area venues when off duty. Organizers of concerts, dances, parties and sporting events are often required to have professional security. Stores and shopping centers also enlist extra security during peak times. Rather than paying the officers directly, the company can make a donation to the department's fundraising project.
Kathy Mair has been writing professionally since 1994. As a member of the Kinston Indians front office, she was responsible for all team press releases and articles, a duty she subsequently held for two other minor league baseball teams. Mair also spent time as a copy editor for "TV Guide." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Elizabethtown College.