Columbia resident organizes care package drive for local police

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COLUMBIA -  Columbia resident Beth Dixon and her team of volunteers finished preparing care bags for local law enforcement Thursday morning.

Dixon put the "Thank a COMO P.O." campaign into motion when she posted on Facebook ten days ago, calling for donations. Each gift bags is filled with various snacks, juice drinks, water and a handmade card.

Dixon said she had been wanting to do something to show support for law enforcement.

"I was on Facebook and some friends from my hometown did the same kind of campaign to thank their police officers," she said. "When I saw what they were doing, I thought 'I could do that.'"

Dixon said volunteers have put together 425 care bags."We're just really excited about deliver those to our law enforcement," she said.  

Dixon said she had a lot of community members reach out to her to volunteer their services.

Columbia resident Rodney Swope offered his truck to the campaign and drove some of the care packages to the various departments. He said his wife found out about the campaign when she saw the post on Facebook.

"Our son-in-law is a police officer, so we really feel strongly that they need to be supported," Swope said. “I feel honored to help support our police officers. They protect and serve us every single day, put their lives on the line for us. They’re here to help us, so I want to help them.”

The volunteers made their first stop at the Boone County Sherrif's Department. 

Det. Tom O'Sullivan said the department is grateful.

"We know most people in the community are very supportive of law enforcement, and this is a very nice gesture on their part," he said. "These folks didn't have to do that, but we appreciate it." 

Dixon and her team also delivered care bags to the Columbia Police Department and the MU Police Department on Thursday afternoon.  

She said she's thankful for the local businesses that donated.

"Those businesses really stepped up to help us become a successful campaign,"she said. 

Pet Center Ltd. made special K-9 care bags for the dogs. Both Pet Center Ltd. and River Regional Credit Union opened their doors as a donation drop-off point throughout the week. Dixon said Joe Machens Ford and the Wal-Mart on Grindstone Parkway have also shown the campaign a large amount of support. 

Dixon said, in light of recent tensions involving police nationwide, she felt now was the time to show law enforcement support.

She said, "I'm a teacher and I know when things happen to schools, and when tragedy happens, it really affects me and how I feel about my job, and I feel like the same way happens for our police. When bad things happen in your profession, you take it personally."

Dixon said some Jefferson City and Ashland residents will be starting campaigns to thank their police officers as well.