Instead of putting criminals in the back of his patrol car Friday, Lt. Ray Dixon of the Fort Mill Police Department will be filling his backseat with canned goods and other non-perishables to benefit the Fort Mill Care Center.
“The backseat of a police car is usually associated with not wanting to be back there,” Dixon said. “We want to make the backseat of the police car filled with something positive to help the care center, which in turn helps the people of Fort Mill.”
Dixon will be parked at the Bi-Lo in Fort Mill from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said.
The idea came to Dixon shortly after he found out the care center’s food pantry was running low and the center is lacking other supplies for residents in need. Dixon said he and the other police officers at the department enjoy helping the community, whether it is through their job or in their spare time.
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“We enjoy serving. We enjoy giving back,” Dixon said.
“Believe it or not, I get paid to do that. I know that sounds stupid, but I get a lot of enjoyment, as do the guys that I work with, for making a difference in Fort Mill.”
Although this is his first food drive, Dixon has come up with creative fundraisers to benefit the care center in the past. His other efforts have included bagging groceries for tips and building a fake jail and having people pay money to bail him out, both of which also took place at Bi-Lo.
Carol Higgins, the care center’s director, said volunteer efforts are always appreciated.
“He comes up with creative ways to help us out,” Higgins said of Dixon. “He’s been really good for the care center and we really appreciate his efforts.”
Dixon knows he can fit a couple of adults in the back of his squad car, but he isn’t sure how much food it will take to fill the whole thing. If need be, Dixon said he is ready to call for back-up on the case.
“My goal is to fill up the back of my police car, but I would love to have to call a second police car and I’d love to have to fill it up too,” Dixon said. “The more we can get, the better for everybody.”
In addition to canned vegetables, meat and tuna, residents can donate pasta, rice, beans, powdered milk, pet food and supplies, and personal hygiene items. Pretty much any non-perishable item that people might need is appreciated.
Dixon hopes the community is as excited as he is about the effort and urges the people of Fort Mill to rally around their community.
“There are a lot of people that depend on the care center,” Dixon said. “So if you have, then come give.”