Ukiah, CA – Nov. 14, 2013: The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation has made the first loans in its new program to help local candidates attend police academy. The $7,000 “scholarship/loans” cover tuition, uniform, equipment and expenses and will be forgiven in full if the candidate works for at least three years as a police officer or sheriff’s deputy in Mendocino County. Cody Mason and Diego Sanchez, both of Willits, are the first two recipients of the scholarship/loans and will begin police academy at Santa Rosa Junior College in January. Both are prospective sheriff’s deputies. The scholarship/loans were conceived by Ukiah police chief Chris Dewey as a way to help hire and keep local peace officers. Retention of officers and deputies has been a major problem because of higher salaries offered in other parts of California. “This funding is very important to law enforcement,” says Dewey. “It helps us keep police officers and deputies local. This funding allows our local candidates with strong ties to our community the opportunity to attend a police academy.” The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity established in 2011 to channel local donations to assist the police chiefs and sheriff. It has purchased police dogs and a tactical robot for local law enforcement, using donations from over 200 local residents and businesses. The Foundation is funded by local donations and will be launching a fund-raising drive to support the scholarship/loans. “Donations are essential to helping us keep local candidates here in the County,” said Dewey. The Foundation is chaired by Jim Eddie of Potter Valley, a former long-time county supervisor. Foundation president is local businessman Ross Liberty. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, P.O. Box 123, Ukiah.
PHOTO by Sherry Glavitch