New group to raise cash for police

Wednesday, September 24, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:51 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 27, 2008

The Columbia Police Officers Association, local businesses and Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm have established a nonprofit organization that seeks to raise money to support additional programs and purchase equipment for the Columbia Police Department.

The nine-member Board of Trustees, which works with the police to identify areas of need, includes Boehm, former Boone County presiding judge Frank Conley, local attorney Dan Atwill, and Randy Wright, vice president and general manager of KMIZ/Channel 17. The co-chairs of the board are Jim and Billie Silvey, longtime supporters of the police department, who Officer Steve Rios, the foundation’s administrator, said were a unanimous choice.

“We were overridden on the votes,” joked Jim Silvey. “But we’re glad to help in any way we can.”

The foundation’s mission is to raise funding for equipment and programs that are not covered by the city’s budget. The foundation’s first project is trying to raise money for trauma kits. Rios said the goal is to raise $650 to provide each patrol car with the $18.50 kits.

Rios said he hopes the foundation can raise an additional $500 to equip every Police Department vehicle with a trauma kit.

To date, the foundation has received $22,000 in donations and $5,000 in pledges, Rios said. The group has earmarked $16,000 for a thermal imager, which reads heat signals people emit and transforms them into electronic signals that can be displayed on a color screen. It would allow officers to look into a dark room or corner to locate suspects. The foundation hopes to supply each of the two patrol districts with the device.

For more information on the Columbia Police Foundation, contact Officer Steve Rios at 441-3876 or visit the Web site at

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