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A 44-pound San Diego Police Badge made of pure chocolate.

Police Take 44 Pounds of Chocolate into Custody

Talk about sweet-talking the cops! Valley View Casino & Hotel Executive Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson now has some new friends in blue. The talented chocolatier recently crafted an exact replica of a San Diego Police badge made entirely out of 44 pounds of pure chocolate. The amazing sugary sculpture was presented to San Diego Chief of Police William Lansdowne at the San Diego Police Foundation’s 11th Annual “Friends of the Badge” Luncheon.

With the encouragement of Valley View Casino & Hotel, a major sponsor of the event, Chef Daniel and his team spent a total of five days creating the solid 26-inch by 17-inch chocolate masterpiece. Chef Daniel used over 44 pounds of white couverture chocolate to create the badge and its accompanying stand. Then Chef Sammy Chatluang spent two days hand-carving the badge’s exquisite details. The chocolate was then airbrushed with aureolin yellow cocoa butter and dusted with real gold. The team used 27.5 pounds of isomalt sugar to create two accompanying logos of the San Diego Police Foundation and the Valley View Casino Center.

“Creating homemade desserts and pastries for our thousands of casino guests to enjoy is my greatest passion, but I am especially honored to have the chance to support the San Diego Police Foundation through one of my creations,” said Chef Daniel. “Plus it gave me the opportunity to really take advantage of having our very own chocolate room on property at the casino!”

The showpiece was presented during the Chief’s Circle Reception to Chief Lansdowne and other members of the San Diego Police Department by Joe Navarro, president/CEO of the San Pasqual Casino Development Group, Inc., Valley View Casino & Hotel’s development arm, and Board Member of the San Diego Police Foundation.

“As a retired police Sergeant with 24 years of service to the San Diego Police Department, the “Friends of the Badge” event is always very special to me,” said Joe Navarro. “It is our privilege to honor and thank the members of the San Diego police force. Daniel is the finest pastry chef in the country and we were glad to show off his amazing talent!”


Pictured (left-right) SDPF Chair Darin Andersen, CEO Sara Wilensky Napoli, Asst. Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Chief William Lansdowne, Craig Irving

The Irving Group Donates $20,000 to San Diego Police Foundation

Craig Irving, President of The Irving Group, announced today that his company has donated $20,000 for the San Diego Police Foundation’s Digital Camera Campaign. This donation will allow for the purchase of 144 digital camera kits for the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), a top funding priority of the SDPD. Patrol officers will now have a full digital camera kit as a tool for gathering evidence when responding to calls. These cameras facilitate the immediate capture and efficient utilization of evidence during investigations that ultimately solve cases. In domestic violence incidents, the ability to photograph physical evidence, such as bruises, decreases the likelihood that the victim will drop charges against the perpetrator. Photographs also increase the likelihood of a conviction.

“Leveraging today’s technology for capturing evidence is critical to the SDPD’s investigative capability, contributing to a safer San Diego,” stated Sara Napoli, CEO of the San Diego Police Foundation. “We are deeply grateful for this generous gift and I commend The Irving Group for setting such a stellar example of civic leadership and community care. This is an excellent example of how business, nonprofits and government can work together to protect the quality of life we all San Diegans value.”


Ernie Hahn, Luncheon Co-chair, William Lansdowne,Chief of Police, SDPD and Chris Ghio, Luncheon Co-chair

Nearly Seven Hundred Attend the Popular Showcase for All-Things-Police

The Police Foundation held its 11th Annual “Friends of the Badge” event (formerly Beyond the Headlines) on September 21 at the Valley View Casino Center to raise money and fund vital equipment for SDPD. The event raised a net total of nearly $125,000, with 528 guests, 101 SDPD officers, and 50 volunteers attending.

This year’s luncheon was a tremendous success thanks to the leadership and vision of Foundation Board Members and Co-chairs, Ernie Hahn and Chris Ghio. The event showcased the latest in technology and equipment for the department, and also highlighted the need for critical equipment, as well as training programs that are vital to the officers working 24/7 in our community.

The San Diego Police Foundation raises funds, administers grants, promotes awareness of the public safety cause, and provides the SafetyNet: Smart Cyber Choices® program to keep children safe in cyberspace. The Foundation exists to create a safer San Diego, online and on the street.

Funding priorities for the SDPD include the following:

Digital Cameras and Voice Recorders
Crime Scene Diagramming Software and Crime Lab Cameras
Bicycles and Reflective Safety Vests

“Our purpose at the San Diego Police Foundation is to support the San Diego Police Department by supplying unmet needs for equipment, training and educational programs,” said Sara Napoli, president & CEO for SDPF. “By doing this, we know that we are making San Diego safer. We welcome every citizen’s help in this important effort.”

Guests experienced unforgettable demonstrations by the K-9 and SWAT Units and CBS 8’s Marcella Lee emceed a powerful program honoring fallen officers. 2011 Foundation milestones, followed by a LIVE auction and impactful video rounded out the program. San Diego leaders Dan Shea, Ron Fowler, Craig Fuller and Erik Jenkins, and Art Barter pledged major gifts to launch the Foundation’s Police Council program. The Police Council welcomes supporters who give $5,000 or more in flexible funds to the Foundation. SDPF will host a special luncheon on December 16 for those who wish to join the Police Council, sponsored by Donovan’s Prime Seafood.

“We must never take for granted the safety we enjoy, nor the men and women of the SDPD who protect and serve our community 24/7 year-round,” added Napoli.

The “Friends of the Badge” Luncheon is SDPF’s largest event of the year and is made possible thanks to the generosity of this year’s sponsors:

Thank you to our many table captains and sponsors, and to the dedicated event committee, volunteers and officers who worked tirelessly on this year’s event.


"Cop Hop" Fundraiser benefits San Diego Police Dept.

Cop Hop in the news

The inaugural Cop Hop event, organized by the San Diego Police Foundation and the San Diego Police Historical Association (SDPHA), was featured in the news: San Diego TV News 8


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