This past weekend the Livermore Police Department (LPD) along with the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAAA) held LPD’s annual Stuff the Cruiser event under the leadership of Officer Hurd. The purpose is to encourage the citizens of our town to donate backpacks and school supplies for families that need a helping hand. Many of the families whose children will receive these backpacks and school supplies struggle just to make the ends meet. Since this was my first time as a volunteer I was teamed up with one of the experienced CPAAA members, Ted Tsuda.
Our job assignment was to drive to the collection points at Walmart, CVS, Office Max and Big Lots to offload the police cars when they became stuffed. The event started at 11:00 AM and went through 3:00 PM. The image below was just one load that we picked up at Walmart. Not only was the cruiser full of supplies but there were three full shopping carts. As we loaded the truck, families and individuals kept coming out of the store with more items that we kept adding to our load. In all we transported three truck loads, which included the space behind the seats in the cab, during the event. At the end of the day on Saturday afternoon, four full police cars were driven back to the LPD and unloaded of all the donated school supplies.
The pile of donations at the end of the day is shown below. Officer Hurd, who greeted shoppers at our Walmart store, is just right of the center and Officer Burris, the Big Lots greeter, is at the far right. Not seen is Officer Swanson (just outside of the right of the picture) who is a reserved officer. He works a 40 hour job at the same National Laboratory as myself and on Friday nights, and sometimes on the weekend, he volunteers his time to help out when needed. Officer Swanson spent both days of his weekend greeting people at Office Max and asking folks to help out. Many people decided to donate cash, checks and gift cards (several substantial amounts) to allow Officer Hurd and the CPAAA volunteers to buy additional items that may be needed.
A very large stack of donated backpacks was also collected. Today (Monday) the items in the pile will be sorted by police officers, staff and CPAAA volunteers and the backpacks filled with the donated school supplies. When all the work is complete the backpacks will be handed over to the LPD’s Horizons Program to be distribute to families and their children who need the help. I was amazed and overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Livermore. The one thing that happened at the end of the day Saturday that showed the spirit of giving came from one gentleman. He finished his shopping at Walmart after the Cruiser had left so he drove across town, with his bag of donated school supplies, to the police department to drop them off while we were unloading the police cars.
I was unable to help out Sunday but my guess is that the pile of supplies grew quite a bit larger. So the next time you see a police office, remember the fact that they do more than just chase down criminals and write tickets to people who break the law, they also take time to help people who need a hand.