CHILDRESS, TX (KFDA) - Bailey Bradley and other members of the student organization Family, Career and Community Leaders of America or FCCLA created 'Adopt-a-Cop' as a way to get the community involved in appreciating the law enforcement officers that protect and serve them daily.
“We made little adoption agreements where you had to sign that you would do this and it was kind of like a promise,” said Bradley. “And then we had the police department, the sheriff’s department, and the Department of Public Safety and they filled out a form of their favorite snacks, their drinks, just their favorite basic stuff.”
The program ran through the holiday season as well as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan. 9.
Bradley spearheaded the project as her own father is a member of the Childress Police Department.
“I don’t think they feel as appreciated as they really are,” she said. “And I just want them to be able to see that the community does love them and they do care about them.”
“When those officers are coming to work and there’s a gift basket or a package sitting on their desk, I’ve watched every one of them come in and just get a smile on their face as their going through and seeing all the goodies that were on their list,” said Bailey’s father Matthew Bradley. “It was chap stick and bubblegum and if they put down that they were in to hunting or fishing, they would get some gloves or fishing lure or something like that.”
Sgt. Bradley said recruitment is down at the police department and believes a negative image of law enforcement may be a reason why.
“A lot of people are not seeing law enforcement as a career they want to get into,” he said. “By seeing little, small projects like this might otherwise sway some of those people that want to when they see how much the community really does appreciate them on a local, small level.”
Bailey and the members of FCCLA who took part in the project will present it in a regional competition in Odessa next month and hopefully advance to state and even the national level.
However, members of law enforcement already appreciate Bailey for creating ‘Adopt-a-Cop’.
“Whenever the Sheriff or the Sergeant of DPS or the Chief of Police or whoever comes to me and says, ‘Hey, tell Bailey I said I really appreciate it. You’ve got a really great daughter,’ that puts a smile on my face every time somebody says something like that,” said Sgt. Bradley.