Cops washing cars today

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 9, 2005

Hurricane Katrina wiped out entire police departments along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi.

But even as their families evacuated and homes flooded, most police officers continued working around the clock to protect communities swallowed by floodwaters.

&uot;Many of them only have the clothes on their backs,&uot; said Estelita Buie, wife of Suffolk Police Officer J.D. Buie. &uot;They don’t have any other uniforms or work boots,… they don’t have anything left.&uot;

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This weekend, Suffolk police officers will be washing cars to raise money to help their comrades in blue in the hurricane-ravaged cities.

The Suffolk Police Department and the Suffolk Police Officers Association are sponsoring the carwash, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Suffolk Health Department on North Main Street.

All proceeds from the event will go to the cover basic needs – clothing, toiletries and the like – for members of 12 police and sheriff’s departments on the Gulf Coast, Buie said.

Besides financial contributions, the department on Saturday will also be accepting material items needed by officers, she said. Specific items include: navy blue work pants (such as Dickies), waist sizes 34 to 36 inches; socks; work boots; men’s underwear; and plain T-shirts.

All contributions will be shipped down to the Madison, Miss., police department, which will divvy them up to the area departments and officers most in need, Buie said. The police department sent its first tractor-trailer loaded with donations down to Mississippi on Thursday morning; a second is slated to head out sometime next week.

Buie is hopeful the event will raise more than $1,800, the amount generated by a similar fundraiser organized to help law enforcement officers injured in the 9-11 bombings.

&uot;There is no way (Suffolk police officers) can just leave their jobs protecting the people of this city to go help out down there,&uot; she said. &uot;But this is one way we can provide some help for officers and their families.&uot;