FAIRFIELD, Conn. – For the first time, the Fairfield Police Union is giving college scholarships to children of their own, and in the inaugural year, it handed out $500 each to four students.
Last year, the union decided to begin a scholarship fund. Putting it together has taken six months, just enough time to award the first scholarships before the students head off to college.
Lt. Keith Broderick said most of the town's police officers live outside of Fairfield for financial reasons, and the scholarship the union had in place for Fairfield students didn’t benefit many of the officers' children.
“The original award was supposed to be $500,” Broderick said. "But thanks to several private donors, the union was able to give out $500 scholarships to all four students who applied."
“It’s not an award based on education or GPA, it's based on need,” Broderick said. “It’s only $500 but it’s a start.”
College is expensive, he said, and he hopes the scholarships will be able to grow over the years, perhaps to where they can award a student money for all four years of their college education.
“We hope to grow this fund into something significant in the future,” Broderick said.
Of the four students who received the scholarships, both Tyler Caruso of Stratford and Christopher Bodnar of Trumbull are planning to study business, Caruso at Southern Connecticut State University and Bodnar at Penn State.
Christopher Rubis of Monroe will be attending the University of Rhode Island and hasn't declared a major. Erin Broderick of Fairfield will study education at Keene State College.
“I want to commend Lt. Broderick and the police union for giving back. Even though it’s only $500 it certainly impacts their education,” Police Chief Gary MacNamara said.
Broderick said the scholarship fund is a 501c3 nonprofit, so donations are tax deductible. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund should contact him via email.