JEFFERSON — Jefferson residents planning to start an “Adopt a Cop” program benefiting Jefferson police officers are set to host their first organizational meeting at 6 p.m. today at the Historic Jefferson Railway Depot.

Jefferson resident Peggy Walker said she found out late last year about Jefferson police officers having to provide some of their needed equipment out of their own pocket and ever since then, she and other community members have been working to organize a community effort to help out the officers.

“They protect and serve us so we want to serve them in return,” Walker said Wednesday. “I started what I called, “Feed the Force,” in early December where community members bring food items, snacks or meals to the officers and then I found out a new resident, Kimberly Strobel, was doing what she called, “Adopt a Cop,” for Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Jefferson police for Christmas. So I reached out to her to see if we could join together.”

Strobel had organized an effort to make sure the officers each received a Christmas basket and card from a community member. Walker said the new “Adopt a Cop” program will seek to help officers year round.

The first organizational for Jefferson’s “Adopt a Cop” program is at 6 p.m. tonight at the Historic Jefferson Railway Depot, located at 400 East Austin Street.

“I was shocked last year when I found out the officers not only have to provide some of the equipment they need out of their own pocket, but also didn’t even have a refrigerator. We got the word out to the community and we were able to get them a refrigerator.”

Now Walker and her fellow concerned community members are seeking to get an organized effort going to see if they can meet more needs of the Jefferson police officers.

“I just want to help them and let them know we are aware of their needs,” Walker said. “We also are here to help and to give them moral support. If someone is cooking dinner, maybe they could make a little more and bring it to the officers. If they are shopping at the store, maybe they could grab a little extra and drop it off at the police department. This is open to any community member that wants to come help us help our officers.”

Walker said the meeting will follow all COVID-19 safety protocols and those that can’t make the meeting can contact her on Facebook or by calling 903-926-1960 to join, or fellow member Wesley Jones at 903-305-3396.

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