CPD Operation Candy Cane 2020

Covington Police Officers Visit Newton County Theme School as Part of Operation Candy Cane 2020
Posted on 12/16/2020
Police Officer giving young girl a candy caneCovington Police Department (CPD) officers descended on Newton County Theme School (NCTS) Wednesday morning with blue lights flashing to bring tidings of good cheer, not to mention delicious candy canes for students to enjoy. The visit was part of the department’s third annual Operation Candy Cane and this year, much to the surprise of the students, the big man in red, Santa Claus himself, paid a visit.

For the second consecutive year, CPD officers dedicated the special operation to the memory of the late Almond Turner, retired longtime assistant chief of police. To make the event even more special, CPD invited Turner’s wife, Anita, to present the very first candy cane to students. During their visit, students from grades kindergarten through eighth grade enjoyed the opportunity to meet the officers, visit the Main Street Trolley, pick up some candy canes and even say hello to Santa. Judging by the smiles a good time was had by all!

According to CPD Sgt. Vic Partee, Operation Candy Cane began as a way to provide a positive first experience between officers and students.

“Often the first contact children have with a police officer is when something bad has happened,” said Partee. “We wanted to change that. We want the students to know that police officers are approachable and friendly and there to assist. By visiting them to hand out candy and spend time with them at school, we hope to make a positive first impression with these students so if they should need us in the future they aren’t frightened.”

Partee added, “We know and understand that early interactions with children can determine how they see law enforcement when they are adults so we want to develop a positive, healthy relationship with the children in our community.”

According to Partee, news of the department’s special candy-themed operation traveled fast and others asked to participate and support the worthy cause.

“Our local Walmart donated all of the candy canes and the Main Street Trolley owners called and asked to participate,” said Partee. “Tony Cagle, who is a professional Santa Claus, reached out to volunteer his time and LRC Promotions created a special hat designed for Mrs. Turner. It was definitely a joint effort by several groups who wanted nothing more than to put smiles on the faces of the students.”

“Our students and staff had a fantastic time,” said Dr. Ashante Everett, principal of Newton County Theme School. “This is the second year our local police officers have brought Operation Candy Cane to our school and we hope they will continue the tradition for many years to come!”

“Our officers and support staff enjoyed visiting with the students at Newton County Theme School today,” said CPD Assistant Chief of Police, Philip Bradford. “The Covington Police Department is committed to community policing and our officers are always looking for ways they can give back and provide support to the residents of Covington and that most definitely includes the children who live and attend school here. We wish the students and staff at Newton County Theme School and all of the schools in Newton County a very happy and safe holiday season.”