MUSCATINE, Iowa – When a family or individual experiences a traumatic event such as an unexpected death or house fire, the Muscatine Police Department issues a “Code Blue” or a call for fellow officers to provide assistance to the family or individual.
“The officers of the Police Department deal with trauma on almost a daily basis,” Sergeant Ryan Buss said. “We have reached out to these officers and asked them that when there is a call for service that lays heavily on their hearts, they let me know about it.”
When officers contact Sergeant Buss he reaches out to the family or those directly affected by the event.
“We will give them a brief description of what the program is about and talk with them about the goals of the program,” Sergeant Buss said. “We want them to have the option to opt out of the Code Blue response if they are in any way uncomfortable with it.”
The family or individual that is dealing with a traumatic event is provided a meal at no cost to them from a local partnering restaurant and delivered by members of the police department. A list of additional resources is being put together that will also be provided to the family or individuals that they can use when they are ready.
If the family or individuals are willing to participate in the program, they are given a menu with a sheet of paper that lists all of the family members who will be receiving a meal. The family or indivdiuals write down their order with a predetermined date and time for food delivery that works best for their family. Officers will then pick up the meal on the predetermined date and deliver it to the family at their home at no charge.
“The goal is to build ties in the community we serve and let people know that we will remember and care even after that traumatic event has come and gone,” Sergeant Buss said.
Three families have accepted a “Code Blue” response since the program was put into action.
“I truly believe there is great potential behind this program,” Sergeant Buss said. “I believe that the impact it can have on the community will be tremendous. It will show a different side of law enforcement officers that most do not see very often.
“I believe the partnering restaurants will only generate more business by their willingness to give back to those in a time of need, hopefully helping them financially recover from the devastating effects that Covid-19 has caused for the industry,” Sergeant Buss said.
A window decal will be provided to those restaurants that partner with the police department that the restaurants can proudly display at the front of their restaurant.
One local restaurant has already agreed to help with the program and Sgt. Buss will be talking with several others in the next few days.
“Any restaurant that may be interested in participating in this project is welcomed to contact me,” Sgt. Buss said. “I can come, present the program to them, and they can let me know if they are interested.”
Anyone interested in supporting this program can contact Sgt. Buss by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (563) 263-9922 Ext. 212.
One of the goals of the program is to generate discussion about how residents and businesses can help people in need. Informational pamphlets will be provided to the restaurants that they can give to their patrons when people have questions about the program.