Metro Atlanta police officers pass out $100 grocery gift cards to community

Smyrna police go door-to-door to deliver grocery gift cards to homes

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — We've seen a growing divide between police and members of the community in recent weeks following the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.

Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose was in Smyrna, where officers are working to restore trust, one door knock at a time.

Police have worked hard to reduce crime in the Rose Garden Hills neighborhood. On Friday, officers went door-to-door, delivering $100 gift cards to 45 homes.

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It's all part of Smyrna's Grocery Assistance Program. People who recently lost their job or have reduced hours because of the coronavirus can qualify.

Good afternoon Smyrna This morning members of the Smyrna Police department along with Mayor Derek Norton and City...

Posted by Smyrna Police Department on Thursday, July 9, 2020

Noble Dwarika lives in Rose Garden Hills. The community activist said the community has been neglected and let the city know that families there need help.

"This is actually the model of how police should be in America," Dwarika said. "And I can say that with confidence."

Seniors like Betty Williams are eligible for the gift cards too. She's on a fixed income and has live in Rose Garden Hills for 62 years.

"I really thank you all for doing this," she told police.

Sgt. Louis Defense with the Smyrna Police Department said they saw this as an opportunity to bridge the gap.

“We want to send a message that we hear them,” Defense said. “We’re being responsive. "

Mayor Derek Norton told Jose he'd "never been prouder of any place that I've ever lived."

Norton said the city will continue to help families buy food for as long as the pandemic lasts.

Dwarika said he'll keep fighting for the historically black neighborhood.

"It's a very good first step," Dwarika said. "And we want to continue to hold our elected officials accountable and make sure that Rose Garden Hills gets the funding it deserves."

At first, officers planned an all-day event at Rose Garden Park, but due to rising coronavirus numbers, they decided to deliver the gift cards themselves.

The money is all donated. So far, they’ve raised $170,000 dollars.