The essence of every thriving community is public safety and the ability for citizens to live without fear. A duty for thousands of law enforcement officers that work daily to serve and protect, citizens likewise play a vital role in the well-being of their community.
To help make this possible, Community-Police Relations Foundation (CPR Foundation) works to support public-police cooperation with various initiatives that foster long-term relationships. With a dual approach, increased interactions, and open lines of communication, the foundation aims to nurture society by enhancing interaction between communities and law enforcement.
Striving to make an impact throughout the nation, Al Eskanazy, Chairman & CEO of CPR Foundation, explains the foundations desire for a way of life that respects values. “Civilizations exist best when there are rules to live by, known as the Rule of Law. Societies collapse when the citizenry fails to respect one another, adhere to civility, and be responsible for one’s actions,” he shares. These, among others, are responsibilities that law enforcement face in the line of duty.
“Our officers risk their lives daily for perfect strangers, while never asking the race, creed, or sexual orientation; they show up when called, regardless of the time,” he adds. For that reason, effective community policing to aid this process is a top concern for the CPR Foundation to be successful in and beyond its member organization.
On a mission to strengthen the bonds between communities and law enforcement, Eskanazy and members strive to utilize a strategy that caters to both through charitable events. “The CPR Foundation believes in a dual approach, supporting our communities and Law Enforcement. We do not just mail in a check; we show up,” he states. This includes the active role of members who participate rather than observe. “You will find our members in churches, sporting events, community festivals, and holiday celebrations engaged in dialogue and interaction with diverse community members to build relationships and trust and increase our cultural competencies,” he adds.
Most of all, the CPR Foundation takes pride in the shared humanity of the local police force through every interaction. “We continue to search for nonenforcement engagements where police officers can participate in community events, seek out mentorship opportunities with youth, or serve as community coaches for youth sports, particularly in areas where police enforcement is ever-present.”
Eskanazy attributes the organization’s understanding of law enforcement impact to its success in creating positive public-police cooperation. “We understand that law enforcement remains the best alternative to provide safety and stability to our society,” he says. This involves top-priority efforts from police agencies to engage with residents face-to-face and build trusting relationships with their local communities.
“The CPR Foundation recognizes the needs of our society at this juncture of time and helps fulfill these needs by increasing positive interactions and collaboration between the community and law enforcement. In doing so, we have endorsed the blueprint — community policing— for a better future,” he adds. Among these, CPR Foundation also focuses on the needs of distressed communities by providing numerous charitable donations and events.
To create value with donors, Eskanazy explains the efforts to remain connected with those who share their passion for positive community policing. “At CPR Foundation, we maintain open lines of communication with our donors on how their contributions transform our society by fostering prosperous, safe, and productive communities,” he says.
To do so, the organization schedules special events with key speakers to express appreciation to donors and facilitate volunteering opportunities. “In recognition of their generosity in supporting our charitable initiatives, we keep donors informed about our progress in achieving our mission and solicit their feedback regularly. The executive team hosts subject matter experts, gatherings, and dinner meetings with our donors to network and inform them of their donations’ lasting impact.”
Remaining dedicated to impacting society, Eskanazy reflects on the memorable stories that highlight the mission of the CPR Foundation. “I received a call from a State Trooper saying, ‘Al, what more can I do for my country, community, and society than I have already done? I served in the U.S. Marine Corps, became a law enforcement officer, and worked on saving people daily, including those that were victims of human trafficking. Yet, my son is being harassed in school because his father is in Law Enforcement…’ I received another call from an officer who discovered his bias, wanting me to know he now recognizes it and made a conscious course correction,” he shares.
Most of all, he says those worth remembering are the calls from communities telling them they saved a life. “That one unforgettable story from a police officer gratefully acknowledging our mental health initiatives saved him from committing suicide,” he adds. That is the greatest takeaway of all.
As Eskanazy and the CPR Foundation seek to support public-police cooperation, their efforts prove to continue to create an impact beyond those relationships. By nurturing prosperous communities, they are protecting the lives of everyone in it. “Community policing makes a difference in everyone’s life and it’s up to us to make it possible.”
Those interested in learning more or becoming a CPR Foundation member can visit the foundation website.