New foundation aims to solicit business support for those who protect city

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– In the battle to keep Indianapolis safe, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs has always said the city needs the help of citizens: corporate and private.

Now, Riggs has launched an Indy Public Safety Foundation to solicit business support and expertise to back up the men and women who have laid their lives on the line to keep the city safe.

“We have a tremendous amount of really highly-qualified business leaders who want to be part of this, want to contribute not only their time and their money but in-kind, sort of switching back and forth between their business and public safety and sharing expertise,” said foundation chairwoman Melissa Proffitt Reese.

Reese said the foundation can raise funds to provide counseling, awards and training for public safety employees, the type of internal programs that are essential, but not necessarily budget priorities.

However, she said the business and corporate partners also have the kind of know how that the department of public safety needs.

“Our law firm Ice Miller is providing pro bono all the legal services,” said Reese. “We have accounting firms that are providing pro bono all the accounting services. We have individuals from marketing firms providing those services pro bono.”

Reese said former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and Citizens Energy President and CEO Carey Lykens will also serve on the foundation’s board.

On a smaller scale, the Police Motorcycle Drill Team has benefited from a similar arrangement with its own non-profit board of directors.

“The board of directors goes out and raises funds in support of the drill team so that they can travel at no cost to the city and represent the city of Indianapolis,” said former Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Annee. “The team also spends a lot of time going to hospitals, children’s hospitals, that kind of thing as they travel about the country.”

“If we have companies downtown and their employees are safe and secure, we can bring in visitors and bring in other businesses and as a result everyone wins,” said Reese.

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