Donations have been pouring in to the Folcroft Police Department as a number of county police officers prepare to help their colleagues in Hurricane Dorian-ravaged areas at week’s end.
A collection drive formally kicked off Wednesday morning at the police station with community members, police departments and county District Attorney Katayoun Copeland bringing in cases of water, Gatorade, ready-to-eat foods, clean socks and other items to help first responders in need as Dorian snakes up the east coast through the weekend.
Six officers will head down to a still unspecified area in the Carolinas Friday as part of the National Fraternal Order of Police’s National Relief Program to assist officers trying to help their own communities.
“That’s what the FOP is there for. We’re a brotherhood. We have to take care of our brothers and sisters in need,” said Folcroft Deputy Police Chief and Lodge 27 2nd Vice President Chris Eiserman. “They’re too busy helping the community that they don’t help themselves, that’s what our main mission is.”
A new FOP trailer donated by various county leaders and private entities sits in the police department garage slowly filling up with water, phone chargers and other items to help. Three of these trailers are expected to be filled for the caravan down south.
Surrounding the trailer is an open floor with a mountain of bottled water, about 500 cases have been donated since Tuesday by 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Eiserman. Chester Water Authority, Copeland – “she helps us with any kind of initiative we have” - the police departments of Sharon Hill, Upper Darby and Radnor are just some of the contributors to the stockpile.
In speaking with Eiserman Wednesday morning there were was a steady stream of people dropping off items.
“We put it out yesterday (Tuesday) that we were requesting donations. This morning it’s been unbelievable,” said Eiserman, walking off for a moment to help collect donated bottled water someone just drove-up to the donation center. “People are dropping off one or two cases off at a time,” he says as he adds the latest provision to the water bottle mountain. “Every little bit helps whether it’s one case or 30. We take anything.”
He didn’t say what his goal was in terms of collections, but he’ll take “whatever he can get.” Any surplus is expected to go to the Red Cross or held in case of another disaster response, “God forbid,” added Eiserman.
Copeland’s office has been collecting items at the Media Courthouse for the same cause. She said later Wednesday afternoon that the collections have been going well but were still in need of more.
"He are hoping by the time the police leave on Friday that we will literally have no more room left in the trailer," said Copeland.
Collections will continue Thursday at Folcroft Police Department and the D.A.’s office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Folcroft Police Department is located at 1555 E. Elmwood Ave. (enter the police parking lot from Garfield Avenue) and the Media Courthouse is located at 201 W. Front St.