How We Use Your Donations
We created a foundation so that our many supporters could make tax-deductible gifts for projects outside the normal Sheriff's Office operating budget. We knew there were citizens who wanted to help but little did we know how generous they would be.
OUR EARLY YEARS 2009 TO 2014
A Supporter who felt the Sheriff's Office gave service beyond the call of duty
- Bob Griffith never forgot the service of the Baxter County Sheriff's Office. Deputies and Sheriff Montgomery took him to his dialysis appointments when the weather was bad. He felt a strong connection with those men and women and wanted to give a lasting gift to the Office.
- The Griffith Family Trust contributed $35,000 which provided the seed money to establish our Foundation (2009).
A Supporter who witnessed the courage of a lone deputy
- Linda Kuhuke awoke one night to a fight in her front yard. Two unknown men had stumbled into her yard and were fist fighting. Mrs. Kuhuke called the Sheriff's Office. A lone deputy arrived on the scene and managed to subdue and arrest the offenders. Mrs. Kuhuke witnessed first-hand the safety risks that deputies face every day. She was amazed by the deputy's courage and service to her.
- Mrs. Kuhuke made a $10,000 donation to be used for tasers. (2010).
Supporters who wished to honor Sheriff Montgomery's father
- Gifts to honor the memory of a loved one are often requested in lieu of flowers.
- Many supporters chose our Foundation as a way to make a lasting tribute to Sheriff Montgomery's father (2011).
Supporters who value deputy safety and crime-fighting tools
- Bulletproof vests are expensive and need to be replaced after 5 years.
- Attorney Rick Spencer, Mary James, Jane Charvat, Linda Singleton, Kimberly Hathoot, and Maryann Remington donated funds to purchase replacement vests (2012, 2015).
- Porter's Pawn & Bargain Center donated funds for the Leads Online software. This critical tool allows deputies to upload reported stolen property into the database. Pawnshops are required to check the system before accepting any item to be pawned (2013).
- The Citizens Fighting Crime organization donated funds toward the purchase of a Crime Scene van (2013).
THE MIDDLE YEARS 2015 TO 2019
As we became more established, the Foundation expanded its use of donations. Scholarships for employees, game-changing software, and advertising moved us forward in meeting our mission to "innovatively expand and enhance services."
College Scholarships for Employees and Family
- Deputies are required to take College English coursework for promotions. One deputy kept putting the coursework off, claiming he "wasn't interested."
- Once the scholarships were available, he was one of the first ones to apply. As it turns out, he did not have the money to pay for the college classes. Once he completed the coursework, he applied for and received a promotion.
From High Stacks of Ledgers to Lightning Fast Software
- When a fine is paid to the Sheriff's Office, the recordkeeping required is not for the timid. A simple $100 payment often took what felt like an hour (it has to be allocated across multiple categories following complex formulas that would make a nuclear scientist cry). At the end of the month, all admin hands were on deck to try to make the collections and the manual ledgers balance. The Sheriff has pizza delivery on speed dial because the team would routinely work into the night.
- After finding a promising software solution, the Foundation provided the funds to purchase and customize it for Baxter County. The software has transformed into a game-changing tool that freed up hundreds of hours for more productive work.
- The admin team doesn't even miss the pizza.
Getting the Word Out
- Early in the Foundation's history, word-of-mouth was the main form of advertising. We knew it was important to acquaint potential donors with ways to leave a legacy of public safety.
- Brooks Jeffrey Marketing generously developed and donated our website in 2010 to establish our web presence. They also provided their expertise in developing and printing an informative booklet sharing ways to contribute and highlighting success stories.
- In 2016, Barabara Wright made a $10,000 donation to continue the marketing of the Foundation. With her background in the corporate world, she knew the power of getting the word out.
- The Foundation used a portion of the funds on billboards. The increased awareness resulted in more donations.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY 2020 TO 2022
Our donors' generosity was undeterred by the pandemic. Donors gave the gift of exercise, children's outreach, officer safety, and the magical properties of "sonic" ice.
Exercise Equipment in the Privacy of BCSO
- Law enforcement personnel often stay away from public exercise facilities to avoid awkward situations with people they may have arrested in the past.
- A group of health-minded women came together and purchased professional exercise equipment to outfit two exercise rooms at the Sheriff's Office.
- Josee Schliemann donated $7,080, Becky Baker donated $4,250, Jeannie Alley donated $1,500, and Pam Fairlamb donated $1,500.
- Their generosity has created an environment of health and privacy for the deputies and staff.
- Now we need to get Sheriff Montgomery into those rooms.
PC Car to Help Children Understand Law Enforcement
- The PC Car is a motorized small "toy" car that deputies take to schools and other gatherings. The deputy is able to hear and speak through the car remotely. It is the perfect way to approach little ones who might otherwise be afraid to talk to the actual deputy. The PC Car tells the kiddos about the dangers of drugs, how to show respect, and other important lessons in the law enforcement arena.
- The Barabara Wright Trust generously donated $11,000 for its purchase.
Bulletproof Vests and Weapons
- Our donors always rise to the challenge when the BCSO is in need of replacement bulletproof vests and weapons.
- Mary James and Rick & Pam Spencer both gave $3,000 each and Quorum Court member Tink Albright donated $2,000.
Office Improvements to Make Life a Little Easier
- Imagine the deputy who has just finished a long, hot patrol shift or an admin who is working late to finish a report.
- Sometimes a simple cup of ice is the very thing they need. Within the BCSO, there is something magical about "sonic" ice. It has restorative properties for not only thirst but for attitudes, as well.
- In the past, staff would make a daily run to buy ice. In its quest to make life a little easier for BCSO employees, the Foundation authorized the purchase of two "sonic" ice machines. Smiles abound.
- BCSO staff oftentimes don't have time to go out for lunch or dinner. The Foundation also authorized the purchase of kitchen equipment to upgrade the break rooms.
- There are many donors who give gifts to be used for the improvement of daily/nightly office life. The above examples take a little more stress off of stress-filled jobs.