Police, sheriff plan toy drives

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A friendly competition appears to be setting up between Suffolk’s two law enforcement agencies to see which one can collect more toys for children in need this Christmas season.

Unbeknownst to each other until last week, the Suffolk Police Department and Suffolk Sheriff’s Office both planned a “stuff the car” event. Once they found out, neither one backed down — and for good reason.

“We’re doing it to help out Toys for Tots,” said Maj. Steve Patterson of the Suffolk Police Department. “We want to give back to the community. That’s what we’re here for.”

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The Suffolk police will hold their event on Dec. 6 at both of the city’s Walmart locations, 6259 College Drive and 1200 N. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The police already have announced a leg up on the sheriff’s office effort — the big guy will be in town at their event.

“Santa will be at both locations off and on throughout the day,” Patterson said.

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office will hold its event a week later, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the North Main Street Walmart.

The sheriff’s office has done baskets for families during the holidays in the past, Deputy Troy Babb said.

“It’s going to be our first year doing a toy drive where you actually fill the car up with toys,” he said. “We’re going to park two units out front and fill them up with toys.”

The toys will be given to Elephant’s Fork Elementary School, the sheriff’s office’s partner-in-education, to distribute as it sees fit, Babb said.

“We’re hoping for an outpouring of support from the community,” Babb said. “On behalf of Sheriff Raleigh H. Isaacs Sr. and Maj. E.C. Harris, we wish you and your family a safe and merry Christmas.”

Despite their competitive start, the two agencies already are talking about doing the toy drive together next year.