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Fort Dodge Community Foundation supports a safer community

-Submitted photo
The Webster County Sheriff's Department and Fort Dodge Police Department have received an $18,000 grant from the Fort Dodge Community Foundation. From left are Mike Johnson, president of the foundation board, Sheriff Luke Fleener, Police Chief Roger Porter, and Randy Kuhlman, chief executive officer of the foundation.

The Fort Dodge Community Foundation recently presented Sheriff Luke Fleener and Police Chief Roger Porter with an $18,000 grant. This public safety grant is made in honor of John Bruner for his service on the board of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way. John Bruner was also a key leader in starting the Webster County Crime Stoppers organization and has been a long time board member and strong advocate for law enforcement for close to four decades.

This grant will help pay for the licensing fee on a state-of-the-art forensic access tool that helps law enforcement officers uncover critical evidence to solve crimes and prosecute criminals. This software program is used by both the Webster County Sheriff’s Department and the Fort Dodge Police Department.

Sheriff Luke Fleener states: “This forensic tool is a newer technology that is impacting the investigation and prosecution of criminals in a huge way. Having this software available to us in Fort Dodge and Webster County is a real game-changer.”

Our community is an important aspect of our lives. In building a better and stronger community and improving our quality of life, crime prevention plays a huge role. Preventing crime and protecting ourselves and our family members from burglary, violence, illegal drugs, sexual assaults, human trafficking, identity theft and so on, is always high priority. Crime affects not only the emotional, physical, financial, and psychological status of people, but it also impacts our businesses, our economic stability and the growth of the community.

In every community, quality of life is directly linked to how safe the residents feel. When fear of crime exists, quality of life drops. When people feel safe with their kids playing in their yards, families walking in their neighborhoods, enjoying our parks, or jogging on our trails, the community becomes more vibrant with stronger social connections.

Community safety and well-planned crime prevention requires collaborative strategies and measures and a proactive approach to prevent crime and victimization. It begins with supporting our law enforcement officers. They are our partners in preventing crime, but they need our help and commitment to improve our community’s safety. A common theme in crime prevention is communication and awareness; communicate with your kids, your neighbors, your kid’s schools and your police department. Be aware of your surroundings, and if you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, report it.

The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way has begun implementing a plan for supporting our local law enforcement agencies in their important work of enforcing the law, preventing crime, and providing emergency response. We will also be supporting prevention and safety initiatives that are focused on enhancing public safety and educating people and our youth on how to be safe and make good decisions. Today, more than ever, having a strong partnership between our law enforcement agencies and our citizens is critical to making the Fort Dodge – Webster County region safer and a great place to live, work and raise our families.

Randy Kuhlman is the chief executive officer of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation.

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