Fulton County, GA (CBS46) The chances of you being a crime victim in College Park is one in nine, that's according to recently released data.
That's why police believe it's so important to get to know the people who live there.
As CBS46 reporter Melissa Stern reports, officers are shopping with needy families hoping to make a small difference this holiday season.
College Park police shopped with local families at a Walmart helping cover the cost of the gifts and spreading holiday cheer.
“I want a Nerf Gun!” said an excited Chauncey Newman, Jr.
“My old toys are kind of not fun, I want new toys,” added his little brother, Kendrick Newman.
Families in College Park are shopping at the local Walmart with police as part of the department’s annual “Shop with a Cop” event.
“The police adopted us, taking us shopping for the holidays,” said Chauncey Newman, Sr., whose four kids participated in the event, “The police are just Santa Clause today.”
“It is very important that people also know the positive side of policing,” said Deputy Police Chief Sharis McCrary, with the College Park Police Department.
McCrary says while the crime statistics may show the town as having one of the highest crime rates in America, she attributes it to people just passing through.
“What people don’t understand is that our population more than triples during the daytime, we have so many hotels here for such a small city, and with us being close to the airport…so many people come in and out and through,” McCrary added.
While police might have their hands full stopping crime and keeping their community safe, this “Shop with a Cop” event is intended to give the community a different perspective on their local law enforcement.
“This time of year is busy for us, in a good way as well,” McCrary said.
“We get to experience the police, see them not just working, but giving back,” said Newman Sr.
Newman says it’s a great way to show them that police are here to help and gives them someone to trust.
“Sometimes it’s a struggle, and this is a blessing to be able to come out and get a few things that you want,” said Newman Sr.
Police say they build relationships with people throughout the year, so when the holidays roll around they know who is really in need.
“This time of year, a lot of people can get down, feel a little depressed...but we like to be able to give a little joy back to the people,” added McCrary.
Many families agree that without some help during the holidays...making ends meet can be difficult. Thanks to the officers here today— Christmas came early for a few families.