SEASON OF WISHES: ‘Santa Cop’ makes sure children have gifts

Published 1:08 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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NATCHEZ — This Saturday will be a busy day of giving for the Natchez Police Department.

First, the department’s annual Santa Cop program will take place Saturday morning, Chief Joseph Daughtry said.

Through the program, officers and volunteers take local children who otherwise may not get any presents on a Christmas shopping spree at Walmart.

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The kids also get to pick out their favorite toys and the necessities — shoes, socks, undergarments and a warm coat — and some pick out presents for their family members.

In past years, approximately 30 to 40 children were handpicked for the program by the Natchez-Adams County School District.

The program also serves as a relationship-building tool between police and the community they protect and serve.

Volunteering and monetary donations are two ways the Natchez community can support Santa Cop. The more donations are made to Santa Cop, the more children can benefit from the program.

Volunteers can contact the Natchez Police Department if they would like to help.

Monetary donations can be dropped off or mailed to the police department at 233 Devereux Dr, Natchez, MS, 39120, with checks made payable to the Fraternal Order of Police with “Santa Cop” written on the envelope or the memo line on the checks.

This year, the department is hosting more than one charitable cause for the community, he said. To celebrate the anniversary of Daughtry’s first year as chief of the department, area businesses, friends and fraternities sponsored a Christmas turkey giveaway.

Daughtry said they will be passing out approximately 200 turkeys and hams that these groups helped them purchase to feed families in need.

The turkey handout is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at the police department and will continue while supplies last.

For more information, contact the department at 601-445-5565.