Berges Success Story:
St. Louis Police Foundation
Keeping St. Louis Safe
Every day, police officers put their lives on the line for us. They work long hours and are often in unsafe situations, all to protect and serve. With tight budgets, police departments struggle to get their officers the training and equipment needed for their safety and the safety of our St. Louis communities and citizens. Effective officer training is paramount to good law enforcement and safety – that’s why the St. Louis Police Foundation’s mission is critical.
“The St. Louis Police Foundation serves as a crucial bridge, providing the funds for new equipment and technology, specialized officer training, and community engagement programs that help reduce crime and keep our officers safe.”
Advanced Officer Crisis Training
Thanks to a generous donation by the Berges Family Foundation, St. Louis area police officers now train on the most advanced crisis training simulator in the industry. The VirTra V-300 provides St. Louis County police officers with a highly sophisticated, immersive training system for de-escalation and crisis situations. The training simulator has five screens that offer a 300-degree view and includes peripheral vision and weapons that closely match those used in the field.
Each training scenario in the VirTra V-300 is highly intensive and based on real-life incidents such as an active shooter at a theater or school. It is professionally produced with content that is carefully vetted to rigorously test a trainee’s critical thinking skills, weapons skills under pressure, and psychological responses to the stresses of life-like situations.
Read more to find out how this simulator saves lives and how you can help.
St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy
The VirTra V-300 is installed at the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy, where officers in 70 police departments and municipalities throughout St. Louis County can take advantage of the interactive training scenarios.
Sergeant John Wall of the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy says, “We know that more effective training will enable our officers to make better decisions in crisis situations including de-escalation techniques for dangerous situations that our officers face every day in the field.”
“This state of the art training system simply would not have been possible without the generosity of the Berges Family Foundation,” said Police Foundation Executive Director, Michelle Bagwell. “We are very grateful for this gift which will make a positive impact on police capabilities in our region for years to come.”
Our 4 Pillars
St. Louis Police Departments dedicate 88% of the annual budget to personnel costs, which means there is little left for tools and programs needed at a time when the demands of modern law enforcement are escalating. The Foundation focuses on the following four pillars and depends solely on donations to continue our mission.
CRITICAL SUPPORT FOR THE FRONT LINES
When Department budgets do not cover the tools officers need to do their jobs, the Police Foundation steps in to bridge the gap with equipment and training to keep them safe.
REQUESTS COME DIRECTLY FROM THE RANK AND FILE
No one has better instincts about police safety than the officers who protect us. That’s why every request we fund comes directly from our officers. A simple process empowers officers, regardless of rank or position, to submit their best ideas.
QUICK RESPONSE TIME TO OFFICER REQUESTS
The Police Foundation expedites the most crucial requests in as little as 24 hours. Without the constraints of an endowment, donor dollars are directed where they are needed, when they are needed.
BUILDING A SAFER COMMUNITY TOGETHER
By supporting our police officers, we each play a role in building safe neighborhoods for residents, businesses, and visitors.
Join Us In Supporting Officer Safety
The St. Louis Police Foundation has many ways you can help aside from direct financial donations. We have an annual Sports Luncheon Expo with various sponsorship levels, Breakfast with the Cheif with various sponsorship levels, a Spring Fundraiser at Annie Gunn’s, a Memorial Breakfast, and our Support an Officer fundraising drive. Please see our website for details and help us keep our officers and communities safe.