Police fundraiser going strong into December

Dec 2, 2019

Last month, Detective Kyle Costa grew out his beard for charity with several of his fellow Dartmouth Police Department colleagues for No-Shave November — and this month the department is keeping up the momentum with Double Down December.

The police are fundraising for Blue H.E.L.P., a charity that works to prevent suicide in law enforcement, in honor of Detective William “Wally” Garcia, a member of the department who took his own life in 2017.

As of December 2, they have reached 63 percent of their $10,000 goal.

“It’s near to all of our hearts,” said Costa of the effort. “It’s not only important to me or to each of us individually to participate...It’s the one time a year that everyone in the department comes together for a cause. We all pull together.”

This is the third year Dartmouth Police have participated in the fundraising effort — and it’s not just facial hair they’re growing.

“It’s growing each year as far as the support we’ve received,” noted Costa.

The union matches donations from each member — $25 per person in November, and $50 per person in December to “double down” on its donation.

And this year the department voted unanimously to support Blue H.E.L.P., which stands for “Honor, Educate, Lead, Prevent” and focuses on the issue of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health challenges faced by law enforcement.

“One of the main drivers behind that was the fact that we’ve lost one of our guys, and we wanted to do something,” said Costa. “It’s a great organization and I’d do anything I can to support it.”

Next June, the charity will for the first time host a camp for bereaved children who have lost a law enforcement parent to suicide, named Camp April after the widow of a New Jersey police officer who took his own life.

“PTSD is definitely a problem,” Costa said, noting that it isn’t just an issue for soldiers returning from war. “Recently it’s come to light that a lot of first responders also suffer from PTSD.”

He added, “All first responders see a different side of life that not everybody has the opportunity to see. It’s a tough job.”

To learn more or make a donation, visit secure.qgiv.com/event/noshavenov/.