SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Convoy of Hope offers disaster relief and support all over the world. One of its programs is putting local law enforcement and the community first.

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies respond to tough situations involving people in need. With that in mind, Convoy of Hope’s patrol pack program aims to have officers deliver help where it’s needed most.  The partnership with Springfield Police Department and Greene County Sheriff’s Office offers a new twist on protecting and serving our community.  

National spokesperson Ethan Forhetz said, “We love our police. They often see the worst of things.  And they see people at tough times.  So, if they can do something to change the situation a little bit, to give somebody hope, we certainly want to be part of that.” 

With the patrol packs, officers carry a pack of food items with them- such as nonperishable goods, canned foods, and can openers. When officers see someone in need- or run into a situation where assistance is needed, they’re able to hand these items out.  

The concept originated with a Springfield police officer.  

Convoy says having the items on hand can help diffuse a situation.  

Forhetz stated, “A lot of times what it can do is diffuse a situation. A gift opens the door to the giver.  So,  a lot of times when a police officer comes in and he is giving a gift,  it changes the tone of how everything is going.”

He added, “Anything we can do to be a part of the community and help these police officers to do their job and the best way they can,  and to help people who need it, is what we want to be a part of.”

Convoy tells us this is a pilot program. Things have gone well and there is the possibility it could be expanded in the future.