The Putnam County Law Enforcement Benefit Foundation, better known as the Ten-24 Foundation, is quickly approaching its fifth anniversary. It was founded in 2012 to assist Putnam County law enforcement agency employees with emergency expenses that are not covered by their agency’s budget. The foundation is the brainchild of retired Sheriff Jeff Hardy and is supported by the leaders of every law enforcement agency in Putnam County. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.
The foundation became known as the “Ten-24 Foundation” because 10-24 is the radio signal for “OFFICER DOWN – SEND HELP.” The goal of the Foundation is to provide help to any Putnam County law enforcement employee who is faced with an emergency financial situation that cannot be covered by the employee’s agency. The mission statement reads as follows:
The Putnam County Law Enforcement Benefit Foundation, Inc., d/b/a Ten-24 Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on providing a support network for all Putnam County law enforcement agencies, their employees, and families. We will accomplish this by soliciting contributions and providing financial support for various events and situations that would otherwise go unfunded. These include but are not limited to: provide financial support for Putnam County law enforcement officers and their families in time of need; provide equipment and financial support for the benefit of Putnam County law enforcement agencies; provide financial support for events for Putnam County law enforcement agencies officers and their families.
The Foundation receives its income from public donations, as well as various fundraisers organized by the members of the Foundation. In addition, it receives support from several local businesses. To date, the Ten-24 Foundation has provided more than $18,000 to employees of the various Putnam County law enforcement agencies for emergencies such as a death in the family, sickness in the family, emergency surgery, etc.
In addition, the Foundation accepts donations from members of the public to purchase specific equipment for designated Putnam County law enforcement agencies. Recently, in light of the mass shootings that have occurred as well as assaults against law enforcement, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Public Service Assistant (PSA) Tommy Underwood recognized a need for all Putnam County officers to have Kevlar bulletproof helmets. PSA Underwood was able to raise in excess of $16,000 for the purchase of the helmets. The funds were donated to the Ten-24 Foundation, and as the result, every Putnam County law enforcement officer has now been issued a Kevlar helmet.
The Foundation also organizes and hosts special events for law enforcement. It is presently planning for the upcoming annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony to be held at the Ravine Gardens State Park on May 4th.
The President of the Ten-24 Foundation is Major Richard Harrell of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and the Vice President is Chief James Griffith of the St. Johns River State College. The Secretary/Treasurer is Kaye Tucker, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Grants Manager. The members of the Board of Directors consist of active and retired law enforcement officers, as well as Putnam County business owners and executives.
For additional information or to make a donation, the Foundation’s website is www.ten24foundation.org or contact can be made with Kaye Tucker at (386) 326-2703.
Captain Dick Schauland (Retired)
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office