Since joining us several years ago from Raleigh PD, Officer Williams has assisted us with Shop With a Cop and other community programs that we participate in. Over the past year, Officer Williams noticed a need for footwear for our vulnerable populations and those experiencing homelessness. Oftentimes members of these populations that we encounter are wearing shoes with holes, missing soles, severe water damage and other issues that make them unsafe and ineffective for wear.
Recognizing this need for footwear, Officer Williams organized a boot drive to collect old (but still usable) boots that officers no longer wear. Police boots are normally waterproof, comfortable and provide ankle and arch support for long shifts and standing for long periods of time. These features make them ideal for those that find themselves outside in the elements for extended periods of time.
Beginning last month, officers began dropping off old boots at our boot drop location in the station. To date, many pairs of boots have been collected by Tukwila officers for distribution throughout the community. These boots will be donated to the Tukwila Food Pantry to be distributed to those in need in the Tukwila community.
Prior to the boot drive, a Tukwila sergeant whose name may or may not rhyme with Anderson had been quietly running his own footwear drive having been spotted on multiple occasions purchasing footwear for those he encountered that were in need including Chris (pictured) who we met back in 2016. These daily contacts while seemingly simple, oftentimes open up lines of communication and trust that do not always exist between law enforcement and our vulnerable populations. When we encounter those experiencing homelessness, it can oftentimes take repeat contacts before they have a level of trust and comfort with us. This heightened level of trust and comfort allows us to better assist them with providing the resources and assistance they need.
The Tukwila Food Pantry is always in need of items and volunteers. If you have time to spare or items that they are looking for, please consider contacting them and donating to help out members of our Tukwila community.