ATLANTIC CITY — Officers were met with smiles and thanks as dozens of police department officials handed out 500 donated turkeys to the community Thursday.
Just one week ahead of Thanksgiving, the New Jersey State PBA, the Port Authority PBA and the New Jersey State Trooper NCO Association teamed up with the Atlantic City Police Department to give away the turkeys to Atlantic City residents.
“We knew they’re having some rough times here,” said Patrick Colligan, president of the New Jersey State PBA.
Groups of people lined up at the corners of Mediterranean and New York avenues in front of the Police Athletic League building to receive a donated turkey from the event, which began at 10 a.m.
By 11:15 a.m., the organizers had given away more than half of the turkeys.
Atlantic City Deputy Chief William Mazur said police and the community shouldn’t wait until there’s an incident to improve relationships and engagement. They have to stick together, he said.
Police officers lined up against a truck, handing, out the turkeys alongside Mayor Don Guardian, who also helped out.
“We want to give back to the community. They need to know the police are there for more than just tickets,” said Pete Stilianessis, president of the State Troopers NCO Association. “The police are there to help and support.”