A program that lets police officers make purchases for community members in need is moving forward in the Wenatchee Valley.

The East Wenatchee City Council signed off this week on the program that gives nonprofit Blue Alliance the authority to issue debit cards to police officers, who can then buy goods for people in need.

BlueBridge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group that provides fundraising assistance, policies, guidelines, and a technology platform to Police Departments around the country.

The departments then collect and distribute donated money to serve the urgent needs of community members encountered by Police Officers in their daily activities.

East Wenatchee Police Chief Rick Johnson says the effort will require strong fundraising on the local level.

"We have had a couple of people reach out, and I think they would be willing to donate significant amounts," said Johnson. "We just are not up and running yet.

The Wenatchee City Council will get a presentation of the program next week and is expected to approve it.

Once it's operational, police officers will be able to do things like buy food for hungry kids.

East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford says the program is quickly gaining popularity in the public.

"I was in Kennewick this weekend, talking to some folks, and they are very aware of this program and absolutely love it," said Crawford. "And the community knows about it, and they're all in support."

Police officers would be issued debit cards with a hundred-dollar limit to purchase items for community members.

BlueBridge will assist police agencies with fundraising efforts. It would retain up to 15 percent of the funds collected to cover its operational costs.

The group is already partnering police departments in Pullman, Moses Lake, Kirkland, Kent, Tacoma, and the Suquamish Tribe on community policing efforts to help people i need.

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