CPD's Echo Division plays Santa for crime stricken family
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
It's not exactly Donner, Blitzen and St. Nick behind a herd of reindeer.
Rather, it's the Chattanooga Police Department's "Echo" division, doing their best impersonation of Santa.
"Its all for you," whispers grandmother Ayesha Pankey to 7-month-old Journee, as both are the recipients of the CPD's goodwill, but wish it wasn't necessary.
"My first Christmas without my daughter and her first Christmas without her mom," laments Pankey. "She'll never have Christmas with her mom."
That's because Journee's mother & Ayesha's daughter, 19-year-old Jasmine Akins, was fatally gunned down in a shootout on Market Street back in September.
"Something needed to be done, to make the season a little more bearable," says Chattanooga Police Lieutenant and Echo Zone Commander Eddy Chamberlin, who later responded to the family's home later that deadly night on a parking complaint call as the family grieved Jasmine's murder.
It was then Chamberlin met and fell hard for little Journee, and decided to start a donation drive of needed supplies and Christmas gifts.
"The community's response has been heartwarming, overwhelming, incredible as Chattanooga shines in times like these, " says Chamberlin, as officers lug a station wagon full of diapers, clothing, children's supplies and gifts, all for Journee.
Chamberlin credits CPD Brass and the local Fraternal Order of Police for help making the donation drive happen.
As the gifts roll in, all Pankey and Journee can do is watch.
" Overwhelmed, excited, thankful," says Pankey of the community's benevolence and the officers' thoughtfulness.
The smile on Journee's face is compensation enough for Lt. Chamberlin, who would like one more thing to add to this caravan of gifts. That's an arrest, as Jasmine's killer is still at large.
"It's still ongoing and we really encourage anyone with any information involved to come forward and contact us so we can follow up," says Chamberlin.
If you can help police with information, you're asked to call Crimestoppers.
And if you'd like to help CPD with assisting the Pankey family, you can drop off your donation at Police Services Center on Amnicola Highway any weekday during business hours.
Wednesday, August 16 2017 11:10 AM EDT2017-08-16 15:10:08 GMT
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