A nonprofit that raises money for Seattle’s police force is tapping the tech industry’s deep coffers.
This week the Seattle Police Foundation launched The Silver Shield Donor Circle, a program seeking donations from the tech and business community to fund training, equipment, and civic initiatives for the Seattle Police Department. Venture capital research firm PitchBook committed $10,000 as the inaugural donor.
PitchBook’s donation will fund training for the Seattle Police Department’s bike and K9 units. The company will also encourage its employees to volunteer on SPD projects, like assembling kits for people transitioning out of homelessness or escaping domestic violence.
“I’d love to be able to set the example that others want to be a part of and I think we have the ability to do that with our scale and with our influence in the city,” said Steve Bendt, PitchBook’s vice president of marketing, in an interview. Bendt spoke Tuesday at the Seattle Police Department’s annual Chief’s Reception.
The Seattle Police Foundation is an independent nonprofit that raises money for SPD programs and training that aren’t funded by the city.
“We’re surrounded by tech companies and innovation and we want them to be part of the solution when it comes to dealing with complex issues that we have in our community,” said Cherie Skager, the CEO of the foundation.
Seattle Police have made a habit of embracing technology and its city’s tech roots, using Twitch, body cams, and other digital tools to engage the community.