Campaign underway for equipment for police department’ s new gym

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 30, 2017

Local business owner Tonya Cialona is building on her previous fundraising efforts to assist the Picayune Police Department.

More than a year ago she started the campaign “Saving Police Lives,” where the community stepped up to donate more than $20,000 that was used to purchase high powered bulletproof vests for each officer on duty in response to instances of police officers being shot.

Now, she wants to ensure they are not only protected, but physically fit for duty as well.

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Earlier this year an anonymous donation provided a new building near the Picayune Police Department that will soon be a gym where officers can work out and train.

The problem is there’s no money in the city’s budget to purchase the equipment. So, Cialona is collecting donations from the community one more time to help raise money to offset the $37,000 in commercial grade workout equipment needed to outfit the building. She said she would like to purchase commercial grade equipment because it lasts longer.

The aim is to have a workout facility available to officers 24 hours a day, that way those men and women can work out before or after their shift, no matter what shift they work.

“It’s going to be an awesome facility,” Cialona said.

Lockers for the facility were recently donated by a local school district, she said.

Building on the name of her first effort, which was “Saving Police Lives,” Cialona has named this effort “Saving Police Lives Fit for Duty Campaign.”

She said she’s confident that a number of clubs, organizations, churches and community minded individuals will help with the effort.

To help with the cause, donations can be made at any First National Bank to the “Saving Police Lives Fit For Duty Campaign” account.

Alternately they can drop donation off at her business, Bodies by Tonya, located at 111 N. Main St., Picayune.