We work with dozens of local groups and businesses in the Fox Valley. Some of these have included family-owned coffee shops and craft breweries located right down the road from Sunset Hill Stoneware’s offices. But, we don’t just work with private businesses. We also help our local public organizations like police and fire departments. One of those is the Appleton Police Department.
Appleton Police Department’s Community Connections.
With 113 sworn officers, the Appleton Police Department has a relatively low number of officers for the size of the city. Appleton’s population is over 72,600. However, they also have a team of community service officers to support their small force.
“You get a diverse amount of things you can do here,” said Public Information Officer Meghan Cash. “We’re not so big that you don’t have time to talk to people. You have those opportunities to sit down with neighbors.”
The Appleton Police Department puts an emphasis on those community connections and having compassion toward their neighbors. Part of that involves helping those who are in crisis find the services they need after they get in contact with the department. According to Officer Cash, this might involve anything from connecting civilians with mental health services to local community outreach programs that can help improve each person’s situation.
“We have a job to do to keep people safe,” Officer Cash explained. “But that compassion piece is a huge part of what our PD prides ourselves on. No matter what it is, we’re going to find a solution. We may not be able to solve your problem, but we’re going to find the services to get you to the right place.”
This focus on compassion is just one aspect of what makes the APD so unique in how it operates. Officer Cash noted that it’s also a piece of the department’s commitment to integrity at work.
“In a lot of larger cities, you don’t get a chance to do that. We don’t always fix people’s problems, but we can get to a solution a lot quicker,” she explained.
Being a mid-sized city, Appleton does come with some problems that officers in larger precincts might face. However, because the community is so tight-knit, oftentimes the crimes these officers have to investigate hit closer to home.
“The park here in Appleton is the same as the park we take our kids to,” Officer Cash said. “As officers, I think there’s that personal connection which can sometimes make it harder to deal with those issues when they come up.”
Technology in Law Enforcement
For years, the APD has involved technology in its work. It was one of the first departments to have officers wear body cameras, even before the Department of Justice rolled our recommendations for them. However, that’s just one piece of the tech they use to improve their community and keep it safe.
“We’re always looking for that new technology,” Officer Cash said. “A lot of it is that we always look for something to better serve our community. If it’s just solely to make something easier for us, we’re probably not going to do it, but if it helps our community a little bit better, it’s something we’re going to try to do.”
Some of the other tech the department uses includes using their own app so people in town can report crimes if they need to, plus drones and robotics teams. The robotics division in particular works with their negotiator and SWAT teams to make their operations safer during crisis situations and other difficult incidents.
Right now, the APD isn’t a recognized nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status. However, one organization the department uses for community outreach is the Appleton Police Benevolent Association (APBA). All APD officers belong to the association. Part of this group’s funds come from officer dues. However, since the department can’t accept donations or raise funds directly, the APBA allows them to give back in other ways.
Part of what the APBA does involves raising funds for people in crisis. Whether it’s someone in the community or one of their officers, the APBA uses that money to help others. The organization also sponsors local sports teams and contributes to other causes that need help or support.
The APBA’s mission further serves the APD’s goals of helping the community. Outside of dues from officers though, the organization has to use other fundraisers to supplement its causes. That’s where we come in.
Custom Mugs for Police Departments
The department’s desire to connect locally was what drove their benevolent association to get our stoneware mugs. Their officers are always looking to support local businesses, even when they’re buying equipment. The same goes for the mugs the APBA sold to officers as a fundraiser.
Coffee keeps most of the officers at the department going, no matter what shift they work. To help them get their coffee fix, Officer Cash said they went for custom mugs with a hometown feel. She added that the APD loves that Sunset Hill Stoneware is a local company that they can support.
“Coffee goes hand in hand with officers,” Officer Cash said. “I think that’s just something that all of us live on, all the time.”
There’s a huge range of tastes among the coffee drinkers at the APD. Where some like the old-fashioned coffee from a can, others enjoy local coffee from places like Copper Rock Coffee Company. Officer Cash added that Black Rifle Coffee is popular at the station in part due to the support the company has given to their department in the past.
“There are some people who are coffee snobs. I’m more of a higher-end coffee person,” Officer Cash said. “I’ll still drink the sludge that’s been sitting there. I have no issue with that either, but I think because officers drink so much of it, most officers like it to be high-end or locally roasted.”
Our blue glazes are popular with police departments. For their custom coffee mugs, the Appleton Police Department chose the Wide Mouth in two color options: Galaxy Night and Blue Moon. Each mug features the badge APD officers wear on their uniforms.
From there, officers ordered the mugs as Christmas gifts for their families.
“I think I have every color of mug at my house,” Officer Cash said, laughing. “I think I have a whole collection of mugs.”
To get your own police department coffee mugs or other mugs for your group, check out our fundraising program today. This program comes with free shipping and no artwork fees, so it’s a great way to make money on your next fundraiser.