Red Oak Police Departments Gives Back
RED OAK – While the stay at home orders in Red Oak have certainly stopped the usual level of socializing, the police department decided to do something to keep the camaraderie going anyway.
The Red Oak Police Department including its civilian staffers decided to donate a portion of their salaries to give back to the community. The money is funding gift card giveaways in several upcoming contests over the next days and weeks. Contest participants have the chance to win local grocery store goods and services.
“I talked about finding a way to give while under stay at home orders,” said Red Oak Police Chief Garland Wolf. “My command staff and I talked about ways to create community engagement and give back at the same time.”
Wolf said he asked his staff to donate the amount of money they felt was appropriate as part of the contest, with no obligation to participate.
His team stepped up and donated around $600.
“That number is expected to grow,” Wolf added. “We were able to raise enough money through donations to fund 12, $50 gift cards to local grocery stores. The contests are designed to create community engagement through social media. This is to show how families are coping with the stay at home orders through various themes such as show us your school spirit, sing along to your favorite Disney song, sports themed trick shots and a few we are still working on.”
The criteria to participate is you must be an Ellis County resident, only one submission per household per contest and be willing to pose for a photograph on receipt of the gift card “with social distancing of course,” Wolf added.
Surprisingly, the PD has not had any submissions so far.
“We plan on as many as 12 separate contests but may condense it to six with two winners per contest, Wolf said. “The contest will end when the cards are depleted. Like many cities across the nation we crave our community interactions and have received requests to participate in birthday parades to acknowledge the recipients. We understand these are trying times for all of us and we want to help where we can and have done a handful of them so far as calls allow. We have tried to make it as special as we can for the kiddos.”
Wolf Recognizes Business Is Suffering Due To County Restrictions
Wolf said he knows businesses of all sizes are suffering. He said hard decisions have had to be made to help protect public health.
He also added his comment “One of the most frustrating things to hear are all of the naysayers talking about this is not that dangerous and Ellis County only has a little over 100,000 residents and this is blown out of proportion.”
Wolf disagrees and said he applauds city government for their decisions despite threats of retribution and actions against them.
Indeed, while the Police Department might be the front line and following city orders, it does come down to residents deciding who to vote for in the next election if they are not happy with the current government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, the police department are not elected officials and are doing the job they have been hired to do. Wolf did add he believes Red Oak officials have utilized a fact-based, science-based approach to their decisions based on many data points and recommendations from county, state and federal health officials.
“It has been a burden for everyone and especially our small business owners,” Wolf concluded. “We know the economy has suffered and we empathize on their losses. Our hope is the contest might be a brief and much needed rest from it all. If we can continue to engage our citizens and let them know we have been, are and will be there for them, then we are meeting our mission. As cliché as it sounds, we are doing our best to protect and serve.”