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Thursday, February 10, 2011

ROSARITO BEACH - I.F.A. "Footprinters"

I.F.A.
"Footprinters - Who we are and what we do?"
There isn't a day that goes by that I or one of our members aren't asked this question, "Who are the Footprinters and what do we do?"
The I.F.A. (Independent Footprinter Association), United States and Mexico is a police support organization. We are made up of 51% active, retired or former law enforcement personnel which consists of police officers, fireman, probation officers, correctional officers, judges, attorneys, just to name a few and 49 % civilians (business people). The purpose if the I.F.A. is to "encourage friendship and cooperation between peace officers and all persons having a positive attitude towards preserving the public welfare".
The Footprinters started back in 1929, and continues on throughout the western states. Our group rekindled in 1992 in San Diego California and became the Independent Footprinter Association in 2001. We have grown from our original membership in 1992 of 5 members to over 900 members to date and are growing bigger every month. To give an example, we had 12 new membership applications submitted for consideration at our January 2011 meeting.
Why are we growing while other organizations are having a hard time just surviving? Dedication to our cause is the main reason. People see us as who we are, a non-profit organization that gives ALL its monies to our many charitable causes. We are the original supporters (sponsors), for the Rosarito Police Department D.A.R.E. Program (say No to Drugs). When we first sponsored this group we had 600 students in the program, today we have over 11,000 students enrolled in D.A.R.E, so as you can see, this program alone costs thousands of dollars a year to keep funded.
Over the years we have supplied the Police Department with thousands of dollars in new and used equipment for their department and the officer's use. We have supplied almost anything that the department deemed necessary from uniforms to vehicles to training, just to name a few.
We have also donated many needed items to the Fire Department. We are never idle; we work hard on our fundraisers and other events to be able to raise the monies to keep on supporting the things we are committed to fund. It isn't easy work, but we all chip in and help and this is what makes our organization succeed, every member working together for a final cause.
We had goals for 2010 and we have attained them all and with everyone's help we will hit our goals for the upcoming year 2011. In 2009, we erected a Memorial for the fallen officers of the Rosarito Beach Police Department in the Footprinter Clubhouse and it was dedicated by the Mayor in February 2009 and two weeks later blessed by a Priest that was selected by the wives of those fallen officers. On Monday, January 3rd, the Ladies Auxiliary again met at the Clubhouse Memorial Wall and invited over 200 police, family and friends to have the wall blessed again by their Priest.
It was a wonderful event followed by a meal provided by them and a 12 piece band from the Tijuana Police Department to entertain. This year one of our goals is to supply the D.A.R.E. officers with books for the students, equipment and anything else they deem necessary to successfully run their program.
We want to start another language school at the police department as to let local police officers become bi-lingual. We will supply the teachers, books and anything else that is needed to accomplish this goal. We have run one school in the past and it was a success.
We want to supply the police department with a specialized vehicle for Groupo Especial, their version of our SWAT team to be utilized on special assignments. We have made arrangements to bring back the Department of Justice training team and other training classes to further assist the local officers in procedures utilized in the United States. We had them train Groupo Especial and other selected officers in the past and we feel that training is the backbone to confidence, and that is what they are striving for.
We need to organize at least six fundraisers in the year 2011 in order to meet our financial goals. We need to make more improvements at the Clubhouse to become more sufficient. We are planning our 5th Annual Graffiti Day to assist in the removal of graffiti in the City or Rosarito and as usual, we will supply the paint and equipment for the volunteers to help stamp out graffiti within the city. We have just made arrangements to supply another 400 plus gallons of paint to the City to help their goal of eliminating graffiti in Rosarito Beach. We have supplied the local police with bullet proof vests and other equipment that we have had donated to us by other police departments in the United States, and we shall continue in the future to keep supplying our local officers with what they ask us for when they become available.
As you can now see, we have a lot of work ahead of us to reach our listed goals and as you can probably imagine, other requests will come in and we will try to meet them as best we can.
In conclusion, we have just begun to scrape the surface, but we are competent that we will attain all of our goals as we have always done in the past.
Our group has monthly meetings which are held on the fourth Saturday of the month at our new Clubhouse which is located at 298 Calle Tijuana in Rosarito Beach MX. This is just one block east of the big yellow Elektra store in the middle of town. You can access our web site at www.independentfootprinters.org/ to get all our news and to check out when our next meeting is.
Hopefully, now everyone who reads this article will finally know, "who we are and what we do".
Dr. Harry "O" (Ozaroski)
President
I.F.A.
ifapres@yahoo.com
Source: Rosarito Town Crier