Scottsdale Charros support local police community building effort

Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell helps out during the annual Sirens and Sleigh Bells effort hosted by the Police Officers Association of Scottsdale during the holiday season. (Submitted photo)

While many young children are excitedly awaiting Santa’s arrival during the month of December, there are several families who view the holiday season as a struggle.

Worrying about making ends meet is only magnified in the winter months for families in need, turning birthday celebrations or even Christmas morning into just another day.

For those who didn’t hit the genetic lottery that often translates to silver spoons and fine china — the holiday season can be a struggle.

Growing up in a household trying to make ends meet can change a person’s perspective on events like birthday celebrations or even Christmas morning. What should be times of filal piety become like any other day of the week.

Some of the joy of living is lost.

But an organization like the Police Officers of Scottsdale Association has, for years, been hosting an event now coined, “Sirens & Sleigh Bells,” which is taking the place the original iteration, “Shop with a Cop.”

Following the fallout from a controversial 2015 telemarketing campaign where payments to third-party fundraising exceeded the amount of dollars for charity, leadership changed hands and efforts have gone back to its roots.

“In 2015 we underwent a complete reorganization,” said POSA Civilian Vice President Darlene Cook in a June 1 statement.

“We replaced our elected officials, changed the way we raise money — ditched the telemarketers — and downsized from trying to encompass the whole Valley to keeping our programs local — Scottsdale only. Without community support there would be no POSA!”

Ms. Cook explains the Sirens & Sleigh Bells efforts are meant to help local families who need a little help through the holiday season.

“The greater community of Scottsdale is, after all, comprised of families!” she pointed out.  “Some of those families could really use a little help, especially at the holidays, and POSA is excited to help these families have a little less to worry about during what can be a very hectic and stressful time for those in need. We love that Sirens & Sleigh Bells is an opportunity for POSA, with the help of generous community donations, to help Scottsdale kids and families.”

This grant cycle the Scottsdale Charros is providing the Sirens and Sleigh Bells program a $5,000 grant to help provide dollars to help police officers shop with Scottsdale residents when the holiday season arrives.

“Our Sirens & Sleigh Bells events — both the youth and teen events — start with a breakfast with POSA members, the kids and a few special guests (hint: it’s Santa!) before the shopping gets under way, so there’s tons of time for our police employees to have positive interactions with the kids,” Ms. Cook  said

“Being able to catch these kids young and show them that their police officers genuinely care about them, their families, and their communities, brings a humanity to the badge that is invaluable.”

A view of the effort hosted by POSA during the holidays in the city of Scottsdale. (Submitted photo)

And, it’s that idea of humanity the brings Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell to be a supporter of the outreach effort.

“My association with Police Officers of Scottsdale Association goes back to 2002 when I became a Scottsdale police officer,” Chief Rodbell said in a June 1 statement.

“Although they are formed as an employee organization to represent employees on employment issues, they are not recognized as a bargaining unit. Throughout the years, POSA has done many things to outreach with the Scottsdale Community and support families and youths, to include prevention and education.”

Chief Rodbell, a Scottsdale Charro, says the Sirens and Sleigh Bells event makes a difference for his officers who participate and the families they encounter.

“Officers and police employees assist the young folks with holiday shopping, many of whom pick up gifts, not just for themselves but for their family members as well. Often, they purchase clothes, shoes and necessities in lieu of toys,” he pointed out. “The appreciation they demonstrate to the employees involved and the relationship that is created between the PD and our community is priceless.”

For 56 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

“As the police chief, I am proud of my employees who are involved in this unselfish effort to support the city and community they serve,” Chief Rodbell said. “This is their creation, and I am thankful they allow me to participate.”

Go to myposa.org.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.