Cops and Barbers program aims to put more turkeys on tables for those in need


GREENVILLE, Pitt County - Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple, but for some families, putting one on the table can be a burden. Greenville police officers are hoping to change that by donating food through the Cops and Barbers program.

"It's all about the holidays and giving back to the community," Chief Mark Holtzman of GPD said. "Connecting with your community is the best thing you can do."

Greenville's police department helped pass out over 200 turkeys to 13 barbershops across the city, including Rodney's Barber Shop.

"A few years ago I had a family member who had an issue with the police," Ricardo Staton, a turkey donor, said. "It kind of brought to my attention that something needed to be done with the police and the community."

Staton believes the turkey giveaway is bringing everything full circle.

"It feels like I'm doing what God wants me to do because I am one of the individuals who wasn't in the best circumstances," Staton said. "Just coming fom that to be able to help people who are in the same situation -- it's just a blessing. It feels like the right thing to do."

Staton was part of the first Cops and Barbers giveaway last year. That event was first come first serve, but Chief Holtzman said they actually ran out of turkeys.

To prevent that from happening this year, there's a list and each shop takes home around 14 to 15 turkeys. The barbers then get to decide which of their customers gets one.

"Families around the corner and up the street -- they''re definitely need of family turkeys and everything," Rodney said.

Chief Holtzman said that Greenville is the second city in North Carolina participating in the Cops and Barbers program. Charlotte was the first.

"When you give the family the turkey, the excitement on the face -- it makes you feel good because you're able to sit back and give to them," said Eric Barnes, owner of Young Vision Barbershop.