SALEF was established in 2003 as the Tucson Police Foundation. The primary concern of the Foundation then was the safety of our officers. Every year, city budgets present challenges to our police agencies in getting equipment, gear, safety and technology items needed for our police officers to stay safe, perform their duties and ultimately keep the community safe. The Foundation’s purpose is not to absorb or replace the budgetary responsibilities of the City, but to collaborate with law enforcement to understand their greatest needs, and work in the community with businesses to raise money presenting community event, submitting for grants and generous donations from our supporters to allow SALEF to acquire these items when possible. SALEF, being independent from law enforcement and government agencies, can work independently to maximize transactions that can have the greatest results. For almost 13 years, the Foundation raised money to fully fund or supplement the funding for the needs of police agencies in the Tucson area exclusively.
In 2017, the Foundation was able to expand its assistance to other regional law enforcement agencies and in doing so was renamed to the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Foundation (SALEF). The Foundation’s mission and function remains the same and continues to assist the Tucson Police Department as well as Marana Police, University of Arizona Police and the Pima County Sheriff’s Dept. SALEF looks to partner with Oro Valley Police and Sahuarita Police as needed.
Recently, SALEF was able to help fund the following needed items for TPD:
- TPD Explosive Ordinance Division (EOD) received a new X-ray system and panels. TPD acquired a federal grant which came up short and SALEF was happy to provide the difference in funding for the equipment.
- TPD SWAT Unit: provide armor for a specialized vehicle, a Throwbot2 and ICOR Pole camera.
- The armor upgrades to a specialized vehicle provide crucial officer protection against an ambush situation when approaching life-threatening incidents or active crime scenes.
- The Throwbot2 and ICOR Pole camera allows for the SWAT officers to avoid a blind entry into building or area that may include an attack.
- TPD K9 Unit : New K9 ‘Luna’ and Tucson Police Department Service Dog training center upgrades, including training obstacle items, fencing and flooring