Infor CEO Charles Phillips oversees a leading provider of enterprise software systems that serves nearly 100,000 organizations around the world. The former president of Oracle Corporation is also a committed philanthropist whose Phillips Charitable Organization has provided ongoing support to the New York City Police Foundation (NYCPF).
Gala focuses on public service.
On May 18, 2017, the NYCPF honored Charles Phillips at its annual fundraiser. As a result of contributions from Mr. Phillips and the Phillips Charitable Organization, as well as other donors, the NYCPF has been able to invest more deeply in innovative safety training and anti-crime programs.
The gala event also acknowledged the distinguished work of the members of the New York Police Department and paid special tribute to William Bratton, the New York City police commissioner from 1994 to 1996 under Major Rudy Giuliani, and again from 2013 to 2016 under Mayor Bill De Blasio.
Supporting those who protect and serve.
While the NYPD’s budget covers salaries and other general operating expenses, there is little room in it to fund additional research, programs, or services that have the potential to increase public safety and community awareness. This is where the foundation steps in, as it pays for the development of forward-thinking, technology-based strategies to help NYPD officers and staff to do their jobs better.
A number of the foundation’s model programs have been so successful that they have produced definitive returns on investment and earned slots among the city’s regular budget items.
Stories of personal bravery.
The most poignant parts of the foundation’s May gala event were those that honored NYPD officers.
Sergeant Christopher Connolly and detectives Timothy Brady and Jason Hallik of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau’s Bomb Squad received the “Cop of the Year” recognition, which was presented by Police Commissioner James O’Neill. In September 2016, all three risked their lives to retrieve an unexploded bomb and render it harmless.
On that September day, the three police officers responded to an explosion in Chelsea on West 23rd Street. Less than two hours after the group had swept the area for evidence and any additional explosives, they received a call dispatching them a few blocks away to the site of a newly discovered, unexploded device on West 27th Street. The device appeared to be a pressure-cooker bomb wired to a mobile phone.
Hallik and Brady succeeded in picking up the unexploded device using a robot. They then stowed it in a secure transport vehicle, and Connolly directed the effort to evaluate and dismantle it.
Exemplifying community policing.
The NYCPF’s 2017 Hemmerdinger Award for Excellence in public service was given to Lieutenant Richard Zacarese, along with officers Tanya Barry, Robert Bramble, and John Buchanan.
Zacarese, the head of the city’s Violence Reduction Task Force, works to bring the members of some of the area’s most violent criminal gangs to justice. Nicknamed “the Architect,” he leverages his hard-won experience as a gang-squad detective in Queens to this role, successfully amassing evidence resulting in more than 100 major convictions spanning all five boroughs.
Barry serves as a youth officer in the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, where she provides community outreach to young people from communities that are underserved. She has built up her NYPD Falcons Track Club to include dozens of local youth in a program that fosters teamwork skills and encourages them to reach their goals.
In the 79th Precinct, serving the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, partners Bramble and Buchanan recently leveraged their local contacts—and sophisticated new technological tools—to identify an armed robbery suspect, recover his weapon, and arrest him. The two officers’ dedication to the community has shone through in the Valentine’s Day greetings and precinct holiday party invitations that they have extended to residents.
An honorable history.
Founded in 1971, the New York City Police Foundation has achieved recognition as the first charitable organization of its kind in the nation, and it continues to serve as a model for emerging community-based charities. Operating under the belief that public safety is a concern of the public as a whole, the NYCPF develops educational programs designed to increase the connections between the city’s law enforcement officers and the people they serve. The foundation’s funding of research efforts, and its purchases of next-generation equipment, have boosted the effectiveness of police work at multiple levels.
Over the years, the foundation has played a leading role in the city during times of crisis. The 1960s and ‘70s were a time when it seemed as if New York had been written off in terms of safety, security, and the need for bailout funding by many in authority. A 1975 New York Daily News headline famously said in reference to the then-President’s stance, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”
It was also a time when revelations from NYPD officer and whistleblower Frank Serpico alerted the public to the rampant corruption in the department, resulting in the Knapp Commission’s efforts to reconstruct it as a more effective and responsive agency.
The newly established foundation helped to fund programs designed to address some of the problems that beset the department and provide more training and support for those on the front lines. The NYCPF was the first to purchase bulletproof vests—which later became standard-issue—in order to protect the entire force. In addition, the foundation rescued the NYPD’s mounted unit when it was close to being defunded, paying for every horse used by NPYD officers over the course of two decades.