SOUTHINGTON - The Southington Police Department is asking people to help them â€śstuff a cruiserâ€ť Saturday at Target for their inaugural â€śBack to School Supplies Drive.â€ť
Police will be parked outside of the Target at 600 Executive Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Officers will be collecting school supply donations that will then be given to social services to distribute to local families in need.
Lieutenant Stephen Elliot of the Southington Police Department said officers will be collecting items such as backpacks, pencils, pens, highlighters and notebooks - any school supplies that students can use at their desks. They will not be collecting clothing.
â€śWeâ€™re hoping that this can grow to be just as successful as our toy drive and that it is something that we can continue to do year after year,â€ť said Elliot.
Elliot said Deputy Chief William Palmieri and Officer Chad Butler were inspired to start this drive after the success of the Police Departmentâ€™s Holiday Toy Drive. That event was started 11 years ago, after a local family had all of their gifts stolen on Christmas Eve.
â€śIt was a great idea to hold a school supplies drive,â€ť said Elliot. â€śThere are many families who are struggling to make ends meet and the costs associated with going back to school can be a burden.â€ť
The Toy Drive, which is also coordinated with social services to benefit needy families, is held each December at the Walmart on Queen Street. Elliot noted that the toy drive has been very successful in past years. In some cases, officers have received so many donations that they wouldnâ€™t fit into a police cruiser. So, police have asked people to fill up a pickup truck or their emergency response truck instead.
Elliot said the police union has also supported other community organizations and events over the years, such as the townâ€™s Little League and the Special Olympics Torch Run.
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Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.