BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - To protect and serve: that’s an oath Biloxi police officers stand by.
Saturday’s mission to serve involved raising money for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.
The officers traded police sirens for bells and added a touch of red to their uniforms for a bit of friendly competition.
Every year, Gulf Coast law enforcement agencies try to out-ring the others to see who can fill their red kettles with the most donations, and the defending champs are feeling pretty confident.
“We’ve kept the trophy. There’s a trophy that comes with this, and we’ve kept it at our station because no one else can beat us," said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller. “There’s been a lot of folks, really giving folks coming in, right in the wind and the cold, so we feel good about it, and we appreciate it very much."
The only thing that stood in Biloxi’s way to victory was Saturday’s rain.
“We are at a disadvantage here, when the fire department comes, I’m sure the sun will be shining, birds will be chirping, and everything else tomorrow," said officer Milton Houseman.
So they’re relied on their winning tactic of sharing a smile and kind words to get people in the giving spirit. It was a good opportunity for some community interaction.
“People get to see another side of us. They only see us when something bad happens, and now they see us when something good happens," Houseman said.
Win or lose, the true victory was in giving back.
“There are folks who need help during the holiday season, and the Salvation Army is always there to help them, and we want to help the Salvation Army do as much as they can do. They need helping hands, and we’re glad to do it," Miller said.