Ludlow Police Department Brings Christmas to Local Families
When Ludlow Police Chief Scott Smith took his position this summer, he emphasized the effort that he and his department would show in demonstrating positive community interaction with the residents of the city. Since then, he and the Ludlow Police Department have become involved with numerous public outreach programs, many of which have been seen during this holiday season.
On Tuesday, members of the LPD delivered food and toys to families in need.
“It's really great because a lot of the officers have really taken to it. (Tuesday), we had three that came in on their off time and then I think there were seven or eight of us that went house to house and delivered the food and toys and that stuff, and every one them wanted to be doing it,” Smith said about he and his crew.
The Independence Fraternal Order of Police donated canned goods and the Covington FOP gave toys to Ludlow for the cause. Turkeys and cash for other food items were donated as well. In total, there were 13 families who received food donations and three who received just toys for their children.
In a separate effort, Ludlow officers plan to give Walmart gift cards during traffic stops to those who may need some help during this holiday season.
“They're going to do some traffic stops and if they find someone who might benefit from having a Walmart gift card, and if there are kids present and they have some toys, they're going to give them some toys as well,” Smith said.
Earlier in the year, Smith talked about a clothing drive that his department put on where people could donate for those in need.
“I'd say about every other day, people drop off clothes here. The night-time officers pretty much sort through it and keep track of it, to make sure it's clean and hung up and sorted. We've actually been handing those things out to people who need clothing as well. It's going really well because we're not getting bombarded with clothes, but we're keeping enough to keep a stock in the back going or if we find someone who needs some shoes, coat or some shirts or something, we're able to help them out,” Smith said.
In addition to the donations, Ludlow Police have also spent time with the neighborhood kids in the classroom, reaching out to middle-school kids to show them that the police are a community resource that are there to help and protect the children from crime.
“Once a month we have been doing classes at the school and after-school program where we are trying to reach the middle-schoolers and building friendships with them. We want to let them know that we are there for them. It's something that I sold coming into the job and something that I am going to stick with.”
It's easy to see the positive changes that Smith has brought to the Ludlow Police Department. The community in turn has responded well to the altruistic attitude that the officers regularly display to the city.
“This is a new thing,” Smith said when asked if the donation delivery was a tradition of the department. “It's something that I believe in and that's being very involved in the community. I want to show that we are doing more than just going out there to arrest people and chase them down. We're out there to make a difference. Police get a really bad wrap and a lot of times we get a bad image just out of who we are, it's kind of the nature of the beast, but I think it's really important that we do things like this.”
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor
Images provided by Ludlow Police Department