Detroiters get pick of donations at DPD's Thanksgiving boutique

With Thanksgiving just days away the Detroit Police Department is giving thanks to the community they serve. Officers handed out shoes, clothing, and more to those in need Monday at what they're calling their Thanksgiving Boutique. Neighbors can come in and get what they need and not pay a penny. 

"Got a bunch of sweaters and a coat," said Cynthia Thomas, who visited the station on Gratiot. "I’ve been laid off for three months so this helps."

"Just knowing that somebody cares and someone is out there willing to give a helping hand with no questions. You don't have to show an ID, you just walk up and they give it to you freely," said another shopper, Angela Davis. 

Monday was the first of two days for the boutique, which is set up at DPD's ninth precinct at 11187 Gratiot. The event started at 10 a.m. and people started lining up hours before.

"It was a line around the corner at 7:30 this morning," said DPD Cmdr. Sonia Russell. "The turkeys were gone within ten minutes." 

"Food scarcity right now for our people in our community is real. This is a call to action and we will be working with the Detroit police to see what else we can do," said Patti Kukula with the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, which donated several turkeys to the boutique.  

Police Chief James Craig also donated some items.

"Chief Craig donated lots of clothing. We call it Chief Craig Exquisite Line and that went very fast," Russell said. 

FOX 2 viewers also helped out after seeing a story last week about plans for the boutique. Many reached out to help.

"We received anonymous money in envelopes saying they just wanted to support. We had a gentleman come down from Woodhaven. He drove all the way down just to donate clothes," Russell said. 

Organizers are gearing up for the second and last day of the boutique on Tuesday, Nov. 23. And yes, more turkeys will be available.

Meanwhile, organizers of the boutique say policing is about more than fighting crime.

"Part of policing is making sure that we bridge the gap with the community," Russell said. 

"It's not just about law enforcement it's also about community engagement," said Commissioner Willie Bell, who's on the Board of Police Commissioners in Detroit.