POLICE DONATION

Members of the Pocatello Police Department donate $12,352 and 107 turkeys to the Idaho Food Bank’s local warehouse on Wednesday.

POCATELLO — The Pocatello police union presented the Idaho Food Bank’s local warehouse with a check Wednesday for $12,352 to help local families in need.

Officials at the food bank estimate the funds are sufficient to provide about 96,000 meals to community members. Furthermore, an anonymous donor agreed to match the donation dollar for dollar.

The funds were raised through the union’s “Give the Cops a Bird” turkey and fund drive. The officers also presented the food bank with 107 turkeys prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Police Chief Roger Schei said the cause aligns with the department’s mission of community commitment.

“We have a very giving community and we’ve built strong relationships with businesses,” Schei said.

Schei said the department’s school resource officers helped recruit the student bodies of Highland and Century high schools to help with the fundraising. Highland raised $3,300 toward the total, and Century contributed $600.

Several local businesses also made sizeable contributions, including Courtesy Ford, Cole Chevrolet and Idaho Central Credit Union.

Schei said the turkey donation was down slightly from last year, but the cash donation was up by more than $2,000.

The officers will also participate in Shop with a Cop, in cooperation with the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, and Secret Santa. Schei explained officers adopt several families and cover their Christmas needs through Secret Santa. They take a child shopping for their family through Shop with a Cop. Local businesses aid the causes with discounted rates, he said.

As the president of the board of Court Appointed Special Advocates, Schei said he’s witnessed the need for such programs.

“Especially this year it sounds like it’s a very big need,” Schei said.