The Scottsdale Police Foundation (SPF) has made a significant impact since its inception earlier this year, supporting Scottsdale police officers through various training and health programs and providing funds for new technology and equipment. Now, the foundation is extending its reach beyond the badge and creating a life-changing resource for students and families in the Scottsdale School District (SSD). 

Driven by its mission to enhance the community as a whole, the foundation is proud to help open “The Closet,” a program designed to provide essential resources to students in need, creating a convenient, discreet opportunity to acquire necessary items and, ideally, shift their focus to their education and extracurricular activities. The Closet is the result of a months-long collaborative effort between the Scottsdale School District and the Scottsdale Police Department, whose involvement was spearheaded by Scottsdale Police Officer Alvin Pease. 

“It took the work of so many people, and we’re incredibly grateful for the support from organizations like the Scottsdale Police Foundation. They see the big picture of building community and they step up to the plate,” says Pease. “It’s exciting to see this come together the way it has, with so many groups eager to help out and address this need. We know when kids have their basic needs met, they can focus on their education and sports, music, or whatever activities drive them.”

The Closet is located at Coronado High School, where dozens of social workers and counselors spend their personal time washing and sorting the donations, then distributing them to other schools within the district, ensuring students who need the help are getting it. Items are available, including household goods, sundry items, shoes, interview clothing for parents, and even special occasion items like prom dresses and tuxedos. Organizers would also like to offer food items and are currently looking for a local food bank to partner with. 

“Another thing it doesn’t have yet is a logo,” says Debbie Steinhauer, founder of the Scottsdale Police Foundation. Students within SSD are being asked to design a logo for The Closet as part of a district-wide contest. We want everyone within the district to be excited about this program, and this is one way to get them talking about it and taking ownership of it.”

Scottsdale Police Officer Beau Robins with his K9 Frank.

Scottsdale Police Sergeant Jeremy Pitts and his K9 Booker​.

 

Other partners include Kay Lang & Associates and Whiting Turner Construction. Lang donated 100% of her time to design and assist with the project and Whiting Turner donated its construction services to turn the idea into a reality.

Another initiative at the top of SPF’s list is providing E-bikes to the Scottsdale Police Department. Officers patrolling on bikes serve so many functions and allow officers to access areas that a vehicle can’t. The E-bikes also allow police officers to have a quicker response time around congested areas.

“When a call comes in, time is of the essence, so anything we can do to help our officers get to a scene faster, we want to do it,” says  Scottsdale Police Foundation Founder Debbie Steinhauer. “E-bikes really open up the range officers on bikes can effectively patrol.” 

The Scottsdale Police Department has requested funding for 13 E-bikes and necessary protective equipment. Individuals and businesses in Scottsdale are encouraged to get involved and support the foundation's efforts. Whether through financial contributions or active participation in foundation events and programs, community support plays a crucial role in advancing the mission of the Scottsdale Police Foundation.

Looking ahead, the foundation is committed to expanding its impact through initiatives such as the Officer Grant Request Program, generously kickstarted by a donation received at a recent breakfast event. This program aims to reimburse officers for personal expenditures made to assist community members in need, embodying the spirit of service that defines our law enforcement. Other long-term goals include further expansion of PAL programs across all schools in the district, continued support for The Closet initiative, and the establishment of scholarships for youth pursuing careers in law enforcement.