Salem Police Unions to Donate 11 iPads to North Shore Education Consortium Students

Salem Police Unions are using the funds they raised to sell patches and t-shirts with the department’s signature witch logo during the Halloween season with a generous gift to a regional school serving students with disabilities .

The Salem Police Patrol Association and the Salem Senior Police Officers Association are expected to spend nearly $ 8,000 to purchase 11 iPads and donate them to the North Shore Education Consortium, said Sergeant Eric Gagnon.

The unions have contacted the Beverly-based consortium to see how the school could benefit from the money they raised during the month of October, Gagnon said.

With insurance companies often reluctant to insure the technology and the school lacking funding to purchase the necessary devices, unions have stepped in to ensure that students with disabilities who have difficulty communicating can do so using tablets, did he declare.

“We can actually buy what they need, rather than handing someone a thousand dollars, we can actually give them what they need,” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. “Just from what I hear the kids who get them [the impact] is substantial.

The consortium is the “largest provider of special education programs for children with emotional, behavioral and developmental disabilities on the North Shore,” according to the school’s website.

Francine H. Rosenberg, executive director of the consortium, said the school was “so moved” by the union’s gift that she thinks it “will really change your life.”

IPads will be given to non-verbal students enrolled at Kevin O’Grady School, which welcomes students with disabilities aged 3 to 22.

“Each of these kids will now have a personalized device with a specific case, stand and apps for communication and learning that they can use at school, at home and wherever they go in the community. , thus opening the door to increased communication and interaction! Rosenberg wrote in an emailed statement. “I am very grateful for their support and generosity!”

The unions “have had a lot of support this year” by selling the patches officers wear on their uniforms, which feature a witch on a broomstick. The patches are sold both online and at a stall in downtown Salem. Gagnon joked that they were “perfect for Salem in October” and “sort of sell”.

Gagnon said the intention of the fundraiser is to give back to the community. Aside from donations, officers often use their own money to purchase Christmas gifts for the children, or a tree for a family, which otherwise would not have one.

Unions give back throughout the year through “a lot of small donations,” he said. To date in 2021, they have donated $ 45,000 to various initiatives.

“This year has been just amazing and it’s great that we can give back so much,” said Gagnon. “Nice to know that it helps someone”

Charlie McKenna can be reached at Follow him on twitter @ charliemckenna9.

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