Our huge fourth annual National Night Out celebration at Witter Ranch Park tonight got the attention of several news outlets in Sacramento, but this report on CBS13 was the best.
With your help, we collected over $6,600 to purchase equipment for our nearest fire and police stations in anticipation of the upcoming ten year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and to honor the sacrifices of hundreds of public safety personnel who perished on that day.
We raised the funds in partnership with Sacramento’s all-volunteer non-profit Drowning Accident Rescue Team (D.A.R.T.). With proceeds from a huge community yard sale, a hot dog barbecue, individual donations, and soliciting area merchants, and by negotiating discounts with equipment suppliers, we succeeded in purchasing a MultiRAE portable gas and explosive compound detector for their new Fire Station 43 on El Centro Road and a Cellebrite forensics system for Sacramento Police Department’s Kinney Station in North Sacramento. These gifts were presented to Police Captain Maccoun and Fire Captain Jaymes Butler in a ceremony at the celebration. Also in attendance were Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento City Councilmember Angelique Ashby, Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, and a representative from Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan’s office.
“We told them our plans and asked them what they wanted, and that’s what they said they needed, so our community worked very hard to deliver,” said Janice Brannon, former WRCA board member and chairperson of the committee for the effort. “We are honored to be able to do this for them.”
“This just goes to prove how dedicated our community is on public safety. This is about saving property and saving lives,” said Jason Alexander who serves on WRCA’s board and volunteers for D.A.R.T. and the fire department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Fundraising efforts had been going strong but were not keeping pace with our aggressive deadline. Then came news from our neighborhood Wells Fargo Bank branch that they would contribute generously towards the effort. “I was profoundly touched by the generosity of this donor to our cause,” Brannon said. “I knew then that we were going to make our goal.”
No taxpayer dollars were involved in the purchase.
“This couldn’t have come a better time for us,” said Capt. Maccoun. “Our budget has been cut to the bone so these sorts of purchases are increasingly difficult for us. Having the Cellabrite system here at the station will save our officers a lot of time and help with certain types of investigations.”
“This will really help us in our response to calls regarding possible gas leaks,” said Capt. Butler who is also vice president of Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522. “This MultiRAE detector might save a life someday, and that life could be that of a firefighter.”
Witter Ranch Community Alliance was formed in response to concerns for our community’s safety, so it’s absolutely fitting that we do this for our partners at our police and fire departments. They do so much for us so it’s wonderful that we can do this for them.