A Louisville police officer has become the department’s personal shopper after launching a clothing closet to provide clothes for the city’s most vulnerable this winter.
Louisville Metro Police Officer Beverly Jones initially started the clothing closet for emergencies, but now the entire department is using the resource while on patrol.
“We are in desperate need of men’s socks and underwear,” Jones said.
Jones, who is a Downtown Area Patrol (DAP) officer, came up with the idea for the initiative after encountering numerous homeless people on the streets in need of warm clothes.
“I just want to help, even if it’s something little like giving somebody a pair of socks or a pair of shoes,” she said.
Last November, Jones said she gave some of her own personal clothing to a man in need.
“I just instinctively took my inner belt … my outer belt off and gave him my belt,” she said.
Now, she hopes to help more people during this year’s cold season.
“And it got to the point that I had so much stuff in my car, I couldn’t, I didn’t have room for my actual police stuff,” she said.
At first, officers weren’t sure what to make of Jones’ initiative, but now they are joining in themselves.
“They probably thought I was crazy when I first started doing this, but I see a lot of those officers. It’s like they’re, ‘Bev, gonna raid your boxes today,’” she explained.
“We’ve kind of behind the scenes named it ‘Bev’s Clothing Closet,’” Officer Beth Ruoff, a spokesman for the department, said.
Ruoff said that officers often encounter people who are missing clothing. She praised Jones’ clothing closet as being a valuable resource for officers across the department.
“We get called to scenes and situations where people really need shoes, various pieces of clothing, and a lot of times, we’re at a loss if we don’t have those on hand,” she said. But now, the closet is a valuable resource for officers in all eight divisions. “Bev has made it happen for everybody, and surrounding divisions and officers are now reaching out for this resource.”
The LMPD is currently accepting donations of clothes to add to the closet.
“You know it is nice to hear ‘Thank you,’ because, you know, as officers, sometimes we don’t hear that,” Jones added.