Nonprofit has donated more than $250K in the past decade for various tools, programs

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Former Mayor Steve Tate will be honored at the 2019 Cops & Robbers Ball

Guests at this year’s Cops & Robber Ball will get a glimpse into the world of law enforcement with interactive activities, all while supporting a cause that raises funds to supplement the Morgan Hill Police Department.

The gala will be held at the Morgan Hill Community Center Saturday, May 4, to raise funds for the Community Law Enforcement Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

This year there will be a meet-and-greet with officers, the canine unit, motor unit and SWAT team and a chance to check out the new command vehicle and use a simulator that gives the experience of going on a call for service, said officer John Kuhlen, president of the MHPD Police Officers Association.

The video-based computer system is used to teach police officers on use-of-force policies and tactics such as what to do if a suspect pulls out a fire-arm or other weapon. The officers must make split-second decisions in the programmed scenarios, such as potentially shooting the suspect with a mock gun wirelessly connected to the computer, he said.

The guests at Cops & Robbers will also have an opportunity to undergo a field sobriety test to see how the police check for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Kuhlen said. They will get out of the car and do certain activities to determine potential intoxication such as touching their nose. Guests will also meet Bosco, the MHPD’s K-9 officer, and see the dog in action “attacking” an officer in a protective suit.

This year’s Cops & Robbers Ball will recognize former Mayor Steve Tate and Randy and Linda Christensen. Tate has been instrumental with the success of the nonprofit in his more than 20 years as a city councilmember and mayor.

Randy and Linda have volunteered with the Morgan Hill Police Department for more than 13 and four years, respectively.

Randy has brought many talents and skills to his volunteer role from his experience as a web administrator and Emergency Response Team member at Cisco Systems.

Twice a week Linda has volunteered at the front desk of the police department, where she has often been the first interaction a community member has with MHPD. Linda pre-screens what brings an individual or family to the department and has ensured their service is timely and effective.

CLEF is a nonprofit organization started by residents in 1988 who believe in community support of public safety. Over the years, it has provided funds for many special purchases to enhance the MHPD’s ability to protect life and property in the city. The nonprofit has donated about $250,000 to the department.

“CLEF is a philanthropic group that bridges the gap between what the city can fund and the extra things the police department needs to keep officers safe and give them the tools to do a better job,” Makinster said. “We take for granted the services the police department provides us yet we come to expect to raise our kids in a safe environment.”

MHPD has one of the best response times in the county at 4 minutes and 22 seconds, he added.


“That’s phenomenal,” he said. “Anything we can do to support that is we want to do.”

Kuhlen said CLEF is extremely valuable to the department.

“We are very fortunate to have an organization that supports us,” he said. “Last year they outfitted every officer with ballistic plates in bullet proof vests. We are extremely grateful.”

Robert Airoldi