Building better relationships between the police department and the community, as a whole, was one of the first priorities of newly-appointed Bolivar Police Chief Michael Jones. “It is important to build and strengthen our relationship with the community and with our children. We do not want our children to be afraid of our officers,” said Chief Jones. Chief Jones went on to add, “We have also adopted a new slogan for the department, “Bolivar Police Department – Your Friends For Life.”
As a result of that commitment to the citizens of Bolivar, the department has implemented a new community relations initiative entitled TrunkTreasures (#TrunkTreasures). They have purchased toys, lollipops, cups, pencils, coloring books, colors, and bracelets, all at no expense to the taxpayers, to be given away at public relations events, but they are not stopping there. Police vehicles are now packed with “treasure boxes.” If children are in a vehicle during routine traffic stops, officers will now be giving them a toy from their “treasure box.” Comfort items, like teddy bears, will also be added to the inventory to comfort children who have been involved in a traumatic experience.
Mayor McTizic praised the department stating that he was proud of the department’s implementation of the program. “This program is an excellent beginning to bridge the gap between the police department and our community. The officers that I have spoken with are as excited to be a part of it as the children receiving a toy. It is a great feeling to see that excitement. We understand that toys do not fight crime, but building positive relationships with the community does help fight crime,” said McTizic.
Officer Tuesday Sanders said, “I’ve had the best time giving out the toys. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to be able to put a smile on a child’s face.”