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Marysville police establish foundation to support officer wellness

MARYSVILLE, August 3, 2023—The Marysville Police Foundation has been established and is seeking donations for the new fund. The foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds to benefit Marysville police officers, the department, their families and the community.

The goals of the foundation are to plan, fundraise, develop, carry out and support:

  • Marysville police programs and activities;
  • Families of Marysville police officers, department employees and members in need within the community;
  • Children of Marysville officers and department workers, and other legal residents of the community to pursue vocational, technical, and college and university education;
  • Programs and activities involving public safety, citizen outreach, and maintaining strong community partnerships; and
  • Develop officer wellness programs.
Marysville Police Foundation
 Marysville Police Foundation booth at the 2023 Strawberry Festival. SOURCE: Marysville Police Foundation.

When Police Chief Erik Scairpon joined the department in 2020, he saw the need for a foundation. So did senior level staff.

“The past few years have been challenging for law enforcement on so many different levels, and the police foundation is a really great, definable way for the community to get behind their police department and really show their support, not only by supporting the officers, their families and officer wellness, but also turning that back into helping the police department help the community more,” Scairpon said.

The concept for the foundation got a strong start out of the gate in 2022 thanks to Vance Titus, a community-minded man and key volunteer who did the heavy lifting, chairing and bringing together various business and ministerial leaders to set up the nonprofit board.

Marysville Police Foundation
Marysville City Councilman Mark James talks about Marysville Police Foundation at the Marysville Sunrise Rotary Club. SOURCE: Doug Buell.

When Titus left due to a family crisis, City Councilman Mark James stepped in to chair the group.

James said he was impressed with what the board was planning to do with contributions, particularly with emergency funding for sheltering domestic violence victims and families.

“I saw the passion the group had for our community,” he said, also crediting the domestic violence response that MPD provides now. “When officers go out to a DV call, they have the ability to help the victim, man, woman or child. They get them into a safe place for one or two nights in a safe environment. That just really hit home.”

Scairpon said the new funding stream will supplement monies available to police to help fill gaps.

He pointed out that there are plenty of other unmet needs that either can’t or shouldn’t be paid for using public funds. Having a foundation manage donations for different things is a better way to show good stewardship of those contributions. Examples include raising money for a new replacement K-9, or funding an annual summer picnic for management, officers and their families as a thank you for their service.

The group this spring already hosted one fundraiser at The Creamery and hosted a booth at the Marysville Strawberry Festival to fundraise and let the public know about the new foundation.

Scairpon said being a law enforcement officer is an extremely difficult job and it requires a lot of sacrifice, not only on the part of the individual doing the work, but on the part of the family.

“There are going to be birthdays missed, trips cancelled or vacations you can’t take, during a time when we experienced as much as 22 vacancies for an authorized force of 80 police officers,” he said. “That’s a really hard burden on your cops. I knew it was basically time for a full-court press.”

Marysville Police Foundation
Dan Hazen talks about Marysville Police Foundation at the Marysville Sunrise Rotary Club. SOURCE: Doug Buell.

That’s where part-time officer welfare coordinator Dan Hazen comes in.

He has already started developing wellness programs for the rank and file and addressing the need to support law enforcement programs and activities not just for the officers, but also their families.

“When it comes to officer wellness, we’re really about being able to create a funding stream to serve officers in four big ways: heart, soul, body and mind,” said Hazen, who is also a pastor at Allen Creek Community Church.

Marysville Police Foundation
 Marysville Police Foundation booth at the 2023 Strawberry Festival. SOURCE: Marysville Police Foundation.

So far, he has created dedicated workout space for the officers to address physical needs, is working on bringing yoga to help with stress relief, and launching a Marysville Police Family Academy to bring spouses and children into the workspace to see what their loved ones do.  He is also looking at things like quarterly social gatherings, a Pickleball Leagues, special classes and creating access to mental health care professionals.

Hazen has been a chaplain for several years.

“We’re there to help citizens when they have a bad day, usually their worst day,” he said. “But the other part of that is we have to offer support serving police officers and firefighters when they have a bad day, because they often do.”

How to Donate to the Marysville Police Foundation: Visit https://linktr.ee/marysvillepolicefoundation to make an online donation or check out https://www.facebook.com/Marysvillepolicefoundation/.

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