SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) - Saltillo police felt more like Santa Claus on Thursday, loading the police cruiser with backpacks and school supplies to bless those involved in education, including media specialists and custodians.
Grant Bailey is the Saltillo police chief.
"It all starts at home in the beginning, but our teachers are the second most important in getting these children where they need to be," he said.
And like Santa, police also got some help.
The First Baptist Church in Saltillo and the United Methodist Church in Saltillo donated money to buy backpacks and school supplies.
The community also pitched in, donating additional supplies.
And Saltillo Pharmacy and Solutions also purchased $25 gift cards for each recipient.
Officer Deundre Poole said he was encouraged to think outside the box in coming up with the idea for “Cram the Cruiser” to support educators.
"With it being the beginning of the school year, we figured what better time than to salute those who go above and beyond," Poole said.
Administrators selected the deserving staff members, who were honored with a Rock Star certificate, a backpack with school supplies and a gift card.
Jennifer Rineheart teaches first grade at Saltillo Primary and was extremely touched by the gesture.
"It's wonderful to be recognized for something you do every day because you love children," Rineheart said.
At Saltillo High School, police surprised students in the special needs class.
Each one receiving their very own tiger backpack.
With tremendous community support, Saltillo police were able to fill 300 back packs with school supplies to be given to children in need.
Saltillo police also recognized staff at Saltillo Elementary and Guntown Middle School.