Pictured: Debbie Cox, branch manager with Service First Reality, in Globe, continues to be instrumental in raising funds to provide body cams to the Globe Police Department. Photo by Carol Broeder
Though she was not there to hear it, Debbie Cox was honored during the Sept. 11 Globe City Council meeting for her efforts to provide body cams to the police department.
Cox was ill and unable to attend the meeting, however, new Chief of Police Dale Walters, who was sworn in moments earlier, wished to publicly acknowledge and thank her anyway.
“Over the last several months, she has devoted a tremendous amount of time working with the community in raising money for the Globe Police Department to purchase body-worn cameras,” said Walters, adding, “Debbie has been a strong advocate against criminal trespass and panhandling.”
Walters went on to say that during the department’s “education process” on the issue, Cox formed a working relationship with the police.
“As a result, she has worked hard fundraising to provide body cams for the Globe Police Department and has raised thousands of dollars,” Walters said. “Her commitment to our community is remarkable, as is her commitment to partnering to find workable solutions for issues within the community.”
“Police are very important to me,” Cox said in a subsequent interview. “I am a huge pro-law enforcement person. There is no reason that we can’t have the best police force in Arizona.”
Another motivating factor for Cox is that “we’ve had problems in our area with drunks, passing out in the parking lots, etc.,” at her business location on Ash Street.
In Globe nearly 13 years now, Cox has “grown the business,” she told the Silver Belt.
Knowing the police department was “short on officers,” Cox met with Interim Police Chief Bob Folker to find out what else it needed “equipment-wise.”
“There had been tons of stuff in the newspaper and on social media about accusations – the ‘he said/she said’ kind of stuff,” said Cox, explaining that she hoped body cams would help clarify some of the issues.
“We’ve had a really good community response,” she said. “The companies in town have been awesome,” as well as local police officers, who have donated individually.
Cox believes body cams are something everyone can get onboard with. “We’ve had lots of community support,” she said.
“I’ve talked to hundreds of people in the community, and there’s been lots of positive feedback,” Cox said. “It’s been very heartfelt for me. The police get negative hits on social media all the time.”
There is a benefit account at Wells Fargo Bank, called the “Globe Police Department body cam account,” said Cox, adding that the bank staff “all knows about it” if someone were to walk in the door to donate.
Two weeks ago, before Cox became ill, there was $3,700 in the account that was given to the police for the body cams.
“It’s been very inspiring, especially knowing that everybody’s vying for the same donation dollars in the community,” she said.
Asked about the ongoing body cam costs to the police department, Cox replied that knowing Cloud storage is the largest expense, she set the fundraising goal to about $9,000, which she believed would be “a good chunk of the equipment cost.”
After recent television news coverage in the Valley, there was some confusion, so Cox wanted to make sure potential donors understand that donations for the local police department do not have to go through the State, as they would for Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers, for example.
“We are working through the Globe City Council,” she explained.
Already looking ahead, Cox said Globe police would likely also need “new equipment for their radios,” and, before becoming ill, she had already started fundraising for body cams for the Miami Police Department.
“This is how we can get our own local people back into the police department,” she concluded. “This has been huge. I have been so blessed by what the people here have done.”
Councilmember Giles aids fundraising effort for body cams
A Globe business owner and city council member is part of the ongoing effort to raise money for body-warn cameras for the local police department.
Charlene Giles joined efforts with Branch Manager Debbie Cox of Service First Realty, who has raised thousands for the cause.
With Cox asking her rental clients for donations, Giles, owner of Tailwaggers, in Globe, began asking her clients who own businesses for donations, Giles said.
Clients Lee and Jennifer Kinnard, owners of Dominion Firearms, in Globe, donated a 2018 special edition Glock, along with three magazines, to be raffled for the cause, she said.
Lee Kinnard was also the chief of police for the Globe Police Department until his 2013 retirement.
Through the Kinnard’s generosity, the effort would be able to raise “thousands instead of the $100 I was asking them for,” Giles said.
The raffle will be held next weekend as Dominion Firearms.
“Our end goal is about $10,000” to supply body cams for 21 officers, said Giles. She said the body cams they plan to buy are Cloud-based, connecting automatically to the Cloud without being manually engaged.
She described Globe Interim Police Chief Bob Folker as instrumental in articulating the need for transparency in the police department, as well as having “the public believe in the police department.”
Use of body cams has the potential to both “prevent an officer from using undue force,” as well as providing a video recording of an incident when a citizen might have “a skewed version” of what happened, Giles said.
It’s about “officer safety,” as well, Giles told the Silver Belt. “A person might think twice about attacking an officer, knowing that they are being filmed.”
Asked why she had joined the fundraising effort, Giles replied that, in addition to “volunteering for everything,” as a city council member she is an advocate for public safety.
“I try to get the police and firefighters everything they need to do their jobs,” she said.
Steve and Charlene Giles are seen here at home with the family dogs, as well as those belonging to clients of Tailwaggers Dog Bathing and Grooming, in Globe. A local business owner and member of the Globe City Council, Charlene Giles is helping to raise funds for body-worn cameras for local police officers.