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A wealthy American businessman has donated half a million baht to Udon police recognizing the hardships they face in their difficult job.
Jim Gebhard,59, handed over the check to police chiefs in the north eastern province along with his Thai wife who is a well known local deejay known as DJ Jum, reported Thairath.
The money will be used for an interest free emergency fund to help police officers who find themselves in financial difficulties.
Jim who comes from Kentucky fell in love after meeting DJ Jum online in 2002. He was a soldier in the US Air Force but after leaving the service he set up various businesses that operate out of Saipan and Guam.
He supplies equipment for the entertainment industry such as pool tables and video machines and also supplies ATM machines. The couple live in Tawee Villa in downtown Udon.
Jum, 46, who works at Hot Zone 91.5 said that they want to help society. They have already contributed to projects to help needy schools, country clinics and orphanages in the province but have now decided to help the police.
The couple said that they were concerned about policemen who suffer hardships in their work and personal lives and had heard stories of officers who had committed suicide to escape from financial worries.
This only put the problems on to those left behind. Jum said that they were making the donation to celebrate US independence day that fell yesterday.
Spokesman Phummiwit Wetkama of the Udon police said that the money would be looked after by the police finance department and will be added to a special borrowing fun set up in 2002 that now contains 1.3 million baht. Officers who find themselves in need of loans can borrow 10,000 per time interest free for six months, he said.
“We would like to thank Mr and Mrs Gebhard for thinking about us and thinking of us as important”, he added.
Thai Visa / Thairath