Safety Forces Celebrate Community Engagement Fund


Safety Forces Celebrate Community Engagement Fund honor Law Enforcement on National Peace Officers Day and Fire/Ems on Fire Fighters Day

The Ohio Highway Patrol, County Fire Chiefs, County Police Chiefs, County-wide Law Enforcement Officers, The Summit County Executive, Summit County Council, The Akron Community Foundation, and Seibert Keck Insurance Agency will celebrate Fire/EMS Day May 9 and National Peace Officers Day May 15 in celebration of their service to the community and to highlight the Summit County Police and Fire Community Engagement Fund established to assist in positive Safety Force relationships. The Fund was started in 2018 from a $10,000 gift from the John A. McAlonan Fund through the Akron Community Foundation.

The Fund was started to provide resources to First Responders in Summit County to engage in the communities and neighborhoods they protect to establish positive relationships.  Many of the safety forces work to build relationships in the neighborhoods they serve. It may be as simple as sharing a pizza with neighborhood kids or to purchase a basketball or other sporting equipment to engage kids in a relationship of mutual trust and respect.

John Garofalo, Vice President of the Akron Community Foundation said, “The Akron Community Foundation is excited to support the Fund as it addresses one of the outcomes of the Foundation’s “On the Table” community dialogue where community safety was a key area of concern.  Anytime you have focused relationship building, the outcomes are very positive.”

The Fund is managed and invested by the Akron Community Foundation. Donations to the Fund and Income earned will be distributed to the Safety Forces Support Center.  The program will allow for the purchase of gift cards and certificates to purchase items and support programming designed around positive community engagement.

The two events this year will be held May 9, at Fire Station #4, 25 E. Thorton Street in Akron, Ohio at 10:30 a.m.  The Program will be a highlight of the Fund and Tours of Station #4 to commemorate its final service, as the Station will move to the new Station on Thorton Street to the west of the current location this summer.  The second event will be May 15 as a relationship builder with the Ohio Highway Patrol Post 77 in Akron.  Students from the Helen Arnold Community Learning Center’s 5th Grade Class will be escorted to the Post in Highway Patrol Vehicles and Tour the Post upon arrival.  State Troopers will share their stories with the students.

“Anytime we have an opportunity to build strong relationships and mutual trust with our first responders and the citizens they serve, it is worth taking that opportunity. Keeping everyone safe is the bottom line,” said Jeff Wilhite, President of Summit County Council. The Fund offers our professional first responders resources to build those strong relationships. Until the fund was established, first responders paid for this activity from their own pockets.  

Anyone may make a tax-deductible gift to the Summit County Police & Fire Community Engagement Fund to help the Fund grow and build a stronger community.  To donate, visit or mail a check to Akron Community Foundation at 345 W. Cedar Street, Akron, Ohio 44307. Checks may be made payable to Akron Community Foundation with Summit County Police & Fire Fund in the memo.


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