F’ville Police join merchants in helping needy families

Fayetteville Police Chief Steve Heaton (center, kneeling) and his officers celebrate with donors and recipients of the departmen

It was five years ago that Fayetteville Police began what has become a holiday tradition for less fortunate kids. This year’s “Christmas with the Police” assisted five families and 13 children in having a Christmas to remember.
“Every time we’ve done this there’s been a great response from the families and the kids. You can see the joy in kid’s faces,” said department spokesperson Steve Crawshaw. “We get to spend the day with the kids and we get to have fun with them. It builds a bond with us and the kids and the community. And they get to see us as people, not like the cops they see on TV.”
The idea behind officers lending a hand at Christmas is simple. Fayetteville Police interviewed and selected families that may not be able to have a Christmas dinner, buy gifts and fellowship with loved ones, said Lt. Debbie Chambers.
A number of Fayetteville residents and several businesses contributed to the annual effort. Officers met with family members to get gift ideas then shopped for gifts for the families, Chambers said.
On the day of the event, officers and the families met at the police department to play games with the kids, then went to Stevie B’s Pizza for lunch and on to the Dixieland Amusement Park for an afternoon of rides and games.