State College

State College officer’s widow, children receive community’s gift via online fundraiser

State College police Officer Bob Bradley.
State College police Officer Bob Bradley. Photo provided

Officer Bob Bradley tirelessly served his community for 19 years, so it’s fitting that the community gave back to his family.

In the wake of the State College police officer’s Feb. 9 death, Boalsburg Fire Police Capt. Mike Gibboney decided to do just that by setting up a GoFundMe account.

“With his wife and four kids I thought we could try to help with the kids going to school and just try to help his family in any way we could,” Gibboney said.

The Boalsburg Fire Company presented Bradley’s family with a $14,921 check Wednesday night, an amount that surprised Gibboney.

“I set a goal, and it was $5,000,” he said. “That just shows how awesome this community is.”

“It was a very nice tribute to create the fund, and the number and breadth of people that wanted to support it and his family is truly amazing,” State College Police Chief Tom King said. “It wasn’t just from local folks and from police officers. Folks have shown support from other communities far away. I’m sure some folks knew him, and I’m certain others didn’t know him well at all.”

Boalsburg Fire Company Chief Van Winter said most of his firefighters probably didn’t know the 43-year-old Bradley too well.

“Our relationship with Officer Bradley was like any other officer in State College,” he said. “On an emergency basis we assist them, and they assist us and very few of us know them beyond those calls. I think when Mike heard and found out there were young kids he felt compelled to do something, and it’s still tough to comprehend something like this. We give our hearts out to his wife, kids and father and family.”

Bradley’s family continues to be a part of the family he enjoyed throughout his career.

“As I reminded Jessica (Bradley) last night, though Bob is gone she and her children continue to be every part of our family,” King said. “We want them to always be a part of our family. All those bonds we’ve built don’t go away. We’ve instilled and reinforced that to Jessica.”