Through it’s annual Share the Shoes campaign, the Dallas Police Department’s (TX) Northwest Division Neighborhood Police Officer Unit distributed new athletic shoes to more than 520 children. The $10,000 shoe donation was through a partnership between police and Energy Transfer and Sunoco LP.
"Building relationships within our community is a very important aspect of our job. Over the past six years, the Share the Shoes campaign has enabled us to bridge the gap and make a tighter bond and connection with the communities we serve," Officer Mike Villanueva, of the Northwest Division Neighborhood Police Officer Unit, tells 5NBC.
The special neighborhood unit launched the shoe program in 2017 after officers noticed many children in the areas they patrolled didn’t have proper footwear.
Cpl. Jose Gamez, of the Northwest Division Neighborhood Police Officer Unit, says officers simply wanted to help families they had noticed in difficult financial situations. However, many of the children have gotten to know the officers through the annual initiative.