ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – An area community is helping out the men and women who serve and protect them.
It’s called Adopt-A-Cop.
Aberdeen first launched Adopt-A-Cop five years ago.
Now, the city is kicking it off again and it’s all to back the blue and build relationships.
The City of Aberdeen has come up with a unique way to raise money to better equip its police officers, and build relationships between those officers and their community.
It’s called Adopt-A-Cop and it all starts with this $15 t-shirt.
“If they live within the city limits, they will deliver them to the address because it also helps the citizens to see the police officers in their area and something that’s not on an emergency call or something like that, so they’re getting to be real personable with the officer,” says city clerk, Jackie Benson.
Businesses and residents can join the program, and when they do, they’re given a picture of the officer they adopt to hang in their windows and show their support.
Their support can also help protect officers.
“A bulletproof vest on average is about $600 a piece and they’re only good for five years, so we’re trying to get new bulletproof vests and some new equipment, body cameras for our police officers. So, it’s also a good way to get equipment, do a fundraiser and for our citizens to meet our police officers.”
It’s also good way for the police officers to meet the people they serve and protect under pleasant circumstances.
“Sometimes, the officer feels as if they are the bad guy and when you have a business that’s supporting the officers, it just makes them more comfortable in doing their job and it makes it more visual for the officer and the community to work together because now, you have a different sense of opinion about how the officer feels and how the community feels and business owners,” says Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Randle.
“It means a lot because, you know, with all of the media and everything, you just don’t know who is behind you and who is not, so to know that someone has adopted you personally and is giving towards the cause, it’s kind of a boost and an encouragement you know, on our side,” says Aberdeen Officer Brandi Sain.
There are sixteen officers, including Chief Henry Randle, in the Aberdeen Police Department.
Ten of them have been with the department for two years or less.
Officer Brandi Sain is one of them.
She’s also one of the new officers lacking certain protective gear.
“At the moment, I am borrowing somebody else’s vest. It fits okay, but females are built differently than men, so it would be very nice to have a vest measured to my size for safety reasons, obviously.”
Chief Randle and Benson say the goal is to get every cop adopted.