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DETROIT, MI — Children smiled. Shopping carts filled. The day brightened for Detroit students who might not have otherwise had a Christmas.

And instead of patrolling violent sections of Detroit, officers got a respite.

They showed off their softer sides, shared laughs and conversation as they escorted about 15 kids, most about 13, on a $100 shopping spree down the aisles of Target in Warren Friday night.

More than 20 officers from all of the Detroit Police Precincts participated in a shop-with-a-cop event sponsored by Target.

“They went around the store picking things out, putting them into the baskets, laughing, just having a good time,” said Detroit Police Sgt. Wendie Collier, the department’s chief neighborhood liaison. “It was a heartfelt moment for us … to make these kids have a bright and wonderful Christmas.”

Collier said children grabbed hula hoops, Nerf footballs, basketballs, puzzles, model airplanes, “you name it.”

“I remember one of the children, when it was time to receive their gift card, I asked, do you want me to give your card to you” or hold onto it, Collier said. “She said, ‘I got this, I’m ready to shop.”

The students, who were chauffeured to the store in Detroit police cars. were selected by their respective schools based on need and income, the sergeant said.

It’s the first time the Detroit Police Department has hosted a shop-with-a-cop event in recent years, but Collier said the department hopes it becomes tradition.

Detroit Public Safety Foundation Director of Grants Karen Brown arranged the night through a grant offered by Target.

“We worked closely with Target to get support for this event,” Brown said, adding that Target plans to work with the Detroit Police Department on future youth-related initiatives.

One of those is CITI Camp, which stands for Children in Trauma Intervention. It’s a 13-week day camp during which officers mentor troubled youth and work to get them “back to a better place,” said Lt. Elaine Miles, supervisor of the Chief Neighborhood Liaison Office.

Collier said the children were grateful and some even used their gift cards to purchase presents for their parents.

They were allowed to wrap the gifts before being driven home. But it was time for a pizza party first.

Courtsey of MLive:




Faygo Joins Growing Support to Help Detroit’s Superheroes: Police, Firefighters, Paramedics – Detroit’s First Responders

The Detroit Public Safety Foundation (DPSF) today announced the launch of the Detroit Superhero Challenge ( The Challenge is to raise funds for critically needed equipment and support for Detroit’s first responders — Detroit’s Superheroes. DPSF provides the resources and vital support to the Detroit Police Department, Detroit Fire Department, paramedics, and other critical first responders. Every contribution is tax-deductible.

“A critical part of Detroit’s resurgence is the strength of our public and emergency safety system,” said Catherine Govan, executive director of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation. “We know that the surge behind Detroit’s reinvention is due to the strength and grit of all citizens. That’s why we’re asking everyone, near and far, to give what they can — no donation is too small — to help purchase the equipment and supplies needed by those who willingly put themselves in the line of fire every day to protect us.

“We urge everyone to take the Detroit Superhero Challenge by going to ( and giving to this worthy cause today. While there, we hope everyone will also post a short video telling the world why they support Detroit.”

Govan also announced that iconic Detroit beverage company Faygo, is joining the many other corporations in supporting the work of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, including: PVS Chemicals, Suburban Collection, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Quicken Loans, Home Depot Foundation, DTE Foundation, Strategic Staffing Solutions, AAA, Absopure Water Company, Skillman Foundation, and many others.


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Maureen McNulty Saxton


Donation will cover costs for five horses for one year

DPD_Mntd182DETROIT, Mich. – March 17, 2014 – Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3), an international IT and business services company based in Detroit, adopted the Detroit Police Department’s Mounted Unit for one year.  The adoption was made through the Detroit Public Safety Foundation.

S3 will pay for the general care of the Mounted Unit’s five horses for the entire year, including hay, feed, vitamins, medications, bedding, vaccinations and vet costs, and new shoes and trim every six weeks.  Care for one horse per year costs $7,500.

“The Mounted Unit represents an important branch in Detroit’s Police Department, including Search and Rescue and crowd control,” said Mounted Unit Sergeant Erik Eide.  “We are beyond humbled by Strategic Staffing Solution’s generosity in helping us care for our horses.”  The Mounted Unit is comprised of Big Baby, Elmo, Ivan, Tiny and Vader.

Sgt. Eide first met representatives from S3 in December at the Detroit Public Safety Foundation’s Above & Beyond Awards Ceremony, resulting in S3’s interest to adopt the horses.

“Detroit must be safe and secure to attract the businesses and talent it needs to grow and continue on with its transformation,” said Cindy Pasky, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. “The Mounted Unit plays a key role in that attraction through crime prevention and detection as well as community engagement. S3 is glad to help support the men and women of that unit as they work every day to keep our city safe.”

The Mounted Unit rides 365 days a year unless weather does not permit (below 15 degrees, heavy rain, lighting or ice storms).

They maintain police presence through daily patrols around busy Downtown and Midtown areas.  At night, the unit patrols entertainment districts and the Detroit Riverwalk.  Officers and horses also patrol neighborhoods and parks as needed based on crime activities.

The unit patrols major sporting events at all three sports venues downtown (Comerica Park, Ford Field and Joe Louis Arena) and is on site during any concerts held at these venues, as well.

Additionally, officers and horses attend hundreds of school and community events as requested, as well as career days and block parties.

“The service provided by the Detroit Police Mounted Unit to our citizens is immeasurable,” said Chief James Craig. “The very generous donation and adoption of our horses by S3 is more than just a financial pledge – it is a strong commitment to the community in which we all serve.”

“We are delighted to see the formation of such a great partnership between S3 and the Mounted Unit,” said Catherine Govan, executive director of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation.  “It is thanks to the support of corporate citizens like S3 that we are able to continue our public safety mission.  Their adoption of the Mounted Unit is a wonderful example of public and private sectors coming together to make a strong community in the city of Detroit.”

In 2013, S3 donated more than $1 million and thousands of volunteer hours to charitable efforts around the world and has donated more than $7 million since 2005.

About the Detroit Public Safety Foundation

The Detroit Public Safety Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 organization formed in 2011 dedicated to providing world class public safety to the citizens, businesses and visitors of Detroit.  The mission of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation is to promote safety by enhancing the capabilities of the Detroit Police Department and Detroit Fire Department by facilitating access to world-class processes and operational tools.  The Foundation serves as a liaison between the public and private sectors of the City of Detroit and seeks to engage all on the core issues of public safety and serve as advocates for the police, fire and public safety departments. 

About Strategic Staffing Solutions

 Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3) is an international, woman-owned, $238 million IT and business services company based in Detroit. S3 is ranked the sixth largest diversity staffing firm in the US by Staffing Industry Analysts and 16th among the largest staffing firms in the US by Staffing Industry Report. It is also one of five companies nationally that is a certified Charter Partner with Staffing Industry Analysts. S3 provides IT consulting, customized project solutions, vendor management programs and an executive search service to financial institutions, energy companies, telecommunications, government agencies and retail and health care industries worldwide. It has more than 2,000 consultants and 29 offices, 24 in the U.S. and five in Europe. For more information visit our website at or follow us on Facebook: Careers at Strategic Staffing Solutions.


NOVEMBER 29, 2013


Detroit — O’Dell Tate has volunteered for the city’s Angels’ Night patrols for more than a decade and has watched as firefighters battle blazes that strain resources and put neighborhoods on edge.

Now, with a $24.2 million federal grant — the largest ever awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to a fire department — and two savvy grant writers, the city stands to hire 150 new firefighters.

“It couldn’t come at a better time,” Tate said. “We have wonderful firefighters here, but for a city Detroit’s size, to increase our numbers would be a great asset.”

After losing out on millions in federal grants for years, the Fire Department turned to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, a nonprofit foundation founded in 2011 to boost Detroit’s waning public safety resources.

“The Fire Department is an area that has so many needs and they didn’t have anybody that has focused on writing grants … ,” Catherine Govan, executive director of the foundation. “It just makes us feel that we’re doing what we need to do to help the city.”

Govan said the nonprofit dedicated two grant writers to look for any grant “we could possibly get.”

The grant will fund new firefighters’ salaries and benefits for two years.

The Fire Department had never secured a grant from FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program, or SAFER, until 2011, when the foundation stepped in. Since then, the Fire Department captured a $22.5 million award in 2012, the largest SAFER grant awarded up to that point, that kept 108 firefighters from layoffs. In October of that year, the city laid off 26 firefighters, but they returned a month later under another SAFER grant of $5.6 million.

The latest grant is a “godsend,” said Executive Fire Commissioner Don Austin, who credited the foundation with securing the grants that will boost staffing.

“This is wonderful news for the city of Detroit and for our firefighters,” Austin said. “The average age of our firefighters is 45, so we need some new blood and this is really going to support that effort.”

Read the rest of the article here.

January 15, 2014

By Nancy Kaffer

Detroit Free Press Columnist

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 3.04.19 PMDetroit Police Chief James Craig wants to fix his department, and he wants to do it quickly.

In an aggressive 100-page plan released last week, Craig and his command staff — assisted by consultants Conway MacKenzie and the Bratton Group — detail sweeping goals for the department: Hire 150 new police officers by the middle of this year (there are currently about 50 prospective officers in academy classes); assign detectives to 12 standalone precincts; bring the response time to “Priority 1” calls down to five minutes, and reduce overall crime by 10%.

Those are the broad-brush goals. The report also includes a breakdown of department and precinct-level changes designed to create a more functional police force, and not incidentally, free the department from federal oversight (it has operated under two consent decrees since 2003).

It’s difficult to argue with any of those goals. More cops on the street? Faster response times? Reduction in crime? Who wouldn’twant that?

They’re also not particularly new. Every Detroit Police Department chief has — correctly — identified the trouble spots. Most efforts to improve department performance have foundered against the city’s slow-moving bureaucracy and worsening budget woes.

But Craig was hired by and answers only to Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, not the Detroit City Council or the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. It’s a simplification of the chain of command that should enable Craig to push change, quickly, given the department’s personnel and technological constraints (technology upgrades are part of the plan).

It also means Craig can be less accountable than past police chiefs. Backed by Orr, and with his faith and confidence, Craig can make changes to department operations or protocol almost unilaterally, which means he can push rapid change.

Yet it’s difficult to overstate the importance of oversight and accountability in any government institution.

Some of the goals that Craig’s plan sets forth seem optimistic at best, or hinge directly on the department’s ability to spend money on new officers or new technology. Bill Nowling, Orr’s spokesman, said the funds to pay for such things will be designated in the city’s plan of adjustment to settle its debts and obligations in its municipal bankruptcy filing, and could include federal grant money and restructuring funds. The plan of adjustment should be complete within weeks.

Knowling says Craig meets regularly with the emergency manager and with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

It’s impossible to argue that the department is doing well — though it would be equally foolish to lay the blame for its struggles on the shoulders of Detroit police, who do an incredibly difficult, dangerous and demanding job for much less pay than their suburban counterparts, and do it with fewer resources.

In 2012, there were 386 murders in Detroit — the highest number in decades — before dropping to 333 last year. Police also reported a decrease in the rate of other violent crimes, such as nonfatal shootings, aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, carjackings, burglaries and stolen vehicles. Police closed about 50% of the city’s homicides in 2013; Craig’s plan sets the bar for 2014 at 70%.

These are unacceptable conditions, and they’ve got to change. This means that the department must change. And with hundreds of Detroit­ers dying each year, let’s hope Craig’s plan is the one that works.

Contact Nancy Kaffer: 313-222-6585 or


See article here.

November 19, 2013



The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF), Planet Dog’s non-profit grant-making organization, has given a $7,500 grant to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Detroit, MI.  The grant is one of eleven new grants that PDF has awarded this month to canine service organizations in ten states.

The PDF grant to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation (DPSF) will help meet the demand for explosive sweep requests by creating a Detroit Community Safety Sniffers program and covering the cost of acquiring one dog and training that dog and its handler to detect explosives as well as maintenance training to ensure effective performance.   The grant will enable the program to increase its explosion-detection capacity from four to five dogs, and increase its community outreach.

IMG_0049“We are thrilled the Planet Dog Foundation is supporting the Detroit Police Department and the K-9 Unit through the Detroit Public Safety Foundation,” said Catherine Govan, executive director of DPSF.  “This generous grant will allow our hard-working K-9 Unit to expand its extensive community service capabilities to benefit the citizens of Detroit.”

Planet Dog, the pet industry’s socially responsible leader, is on their way to achieving another million dollar milestone.  Earlier this year, PDF announced it had given over $1 million dollars since 2006 to help dogs help people in need.  Planet Dog is proud to donate 2% of every purchase of its award-winning products to PDF.

“We are thrilled to announce new grants to eleven exemplary canine service programs in ten states across the country,” says Kristen Smith, the Executive Director of the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF). “Establishing these new partnerships is a great way for us to embark on our next million dollars of giving and we look forward to learning more about our new grantees and seeing the grants in action,” adds Smith.

The new grantees may be from Arkansas, Baltimore, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas, but the reach of their programs goes well beyond their borders.  In addition to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, the PDF grants will support Service Dog, Therapy Dog and other canine service programs from the following canine service organizations:  A Fair Shake for Youth, Inc. (New York, NY); American Scent Dog Association (Little Rock, AR); America’s VetDogs – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps, Inc. (Smithtown, NY); Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (Whiting, NJ); Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. (Bloomfield, CT); HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (Eugene, OR); MedStar Union Memorial Hospital (Baltimore, MD); New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc. (Orange City, FL); Paws for People – Pet-Assisted Visitation Services, Inc. (Newark, DE) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (Dallas, TX).

The mission of the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) is to promote and celebrate programs in which dogs serve and support their bestfriends.  PDF is funded primarily by Planet Dog’s contribution of 2% of every sale to the Foundation’s grantmaking fund.  Planet Dog’s contributions are augmented through private donations and the proceeds from local fundraising events as well as the Orbee-Tuff Glow for Good Ball, a best seller that donates 100% of its sales to PDF.


“There is an overwhelming need for funding to support canine service programs and the amazing ways dogs are helping people in need,” says Smith.  “We are thrilled to have donated over $1,000,000 in support of over 100 exceptional programs and are proud to continue to romp the romp and provide PDF with resources to keep having a real impact on the working dog community,” adds Smith.


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May 15, 2013

Tanya Moutzalias

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 11.07.04 AM

Mayor Bing holds the $23,500 donation from AAA Michigan presented by (left) AAA MI President Steve Wagner with Detroit Fire Commissioner, Donald Austin, to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation for the inspection of Detroit Fight Department aerial and ground ladders Wednesday morning, May 15. (Tanya Moutzalias |

See more pictures here:

MAY 16, 2013


Detroit — Mayor Dave Bing announced Wednesday the city will receive $23,500 from AAA Michigan for the inspection of 20 aerial ladders and 4,600 feet of ground ladders used by the city’s fire department.

The donation is being given to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation for the repair and inspection work. The foundation is part of Bing’s Active and Safe Campaign.

“They deserve the best possible equipment to do their jobs,” Bing said.

According to the city, the ladder inspections are required to keep the equipment in compliance with standards of the National Fire Protection Association. AAA has also pledged to donate the same amount for 2014, AAA Michigan president Steve Wagner said.

Fire Commissioner Donald Austin ordered the testing of the ladder fleet around Christmas last year. Testing on the 20 ladders will begin May 29, he said. About eight hours of testing is required.

Read more here:


October 24, 2012

As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Farmington Hills law firm of Fabian, Sklar & King donated 500 smoke detectors to residents of Detroit during a special ceremony October 11 at Detroit Fire Department Engine 27 on West Fort Street. The presentation was part of an annual donation of fire detectors by the firm, which specializes in fire injury, explosion, and property damage claims. The life-saving value of the smoke detectors was driven home by Charisse Dorty of Detroit, who spoke of being saved by one of the devices that Fabian, Sklar & King donated to city residents last year. In August, the firm sponsored a 20-hour training program for arson investigators at the Detroit Fire Department. The program was presented by the National Association of Fire Investigators.

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