SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The Santa Maria Police Council is holding its annual Golf Tournament and Comedy Night fundraiser on Friday at the Santa Maria Country Club.
Now in its 13th year, the event helps the non-profit organization in its mission to provide needed equipment and training for the Santa Maria Police Department.
The purpose of the organization is to fill in the gaps between an ever increasing public need for law enforcement and city budget constraints.
"The budget is very tight," said Police Council president Greg Beebe. "The reason why we exist is for our officers. Our main purpose is to provide equipment and training to protect our officers. They're out there 24/7, seven days a week protecting us, putting themselves between us and harm's way."
Since is was created 2007, Beebe said the Police Council has raised more than $1.7 million.
With the money, the council has been able to fund a number of new equipment purchases, including a Bearcat armored vehicle, crime lab equipment, K-9 units and training, state-of-the-art property and evidence management system, "airsoft" training weapons, and much more.
"There's quite a few things that we would not have acquired over the years," said Police Chief Marc Schneider. "It's things that are above and beyond our budget, so things that we normally wouldn't be able to acquire, where now, we're able to reach out to the Police Council and get the funding and brings things equipment wise that's going to make it safer for our officers and the community. It's just great to have a resource like that."
The sold out tournament has more than 100 players taking part. It teed off at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start at the SMCC.
Later on, the comedy night portion of the event will feature actor and comedian Kivi Rogers, a regular on the comedy circuit, who performs in clubs, on television and for the troops.
For more information about the Santa Maria Police Council, click here.