Woodward, Okla. —
The police's motto is "to protect and serve." And this holiday season, Woodward Police officers are putting that motto into action as they seek to provide groceries for local families in need.
For the 2nd year, members of the Woodward Fraternal Order of the Police (FOP) Lodge 187 are collecting food donations to help ensure 4 families won't go hungry this Christmas.
FOP President Det. Cpl. Darren Navratil explained that the families served by the holiday food drive are selected by the 4 different police divisions: day shift (officers who work between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), evening shift (4 p.m. to midnight), midnight shift (midnight to 8 a.m.), and detective division.
"Each police shift picks a family to help, and after the food drive is over, we divide up everything we've collected between the 4 families," Navratil said.
The FOP is requesting the public's help with collecting various non-perishable, canned and boxed food items. People can drop off food donations at a box in the lobby of the WPD station at 1222 9th St. Or for those who may not be able to come to the station, they can contact the WPD dispatch at (580) 254-8518 and "an officer will come pick up their donation."
"We will be collecting food through Dec. 20 and then we will distribute it all to area families before Christmas," Navratil said.
However, before the food is distributed, he said the FOP will take some of its own funds to purchase perishable items like milk and a turkey to include with the food baskets for each family.
Navratil said the families chosen by each shift may be "those we've encountered through the job or those known by officers through their churches or through various other means to be in need."
The FOP president said the holiday food drive is just another way for the police officers to serve local citizens.
"It's just a way for us to give back to the community," Navratil said.