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Breaking bread, building bridges: Group surprises East Cleveland police with Thanksgiving dinner

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Nov 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-26 21:55:00-05

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — For many people working essential jobs like public safety, Thanksgiving is just another Thursday. Recognizing the time they spend away from their families, local groups surprised officers and dispatchers at the East Cleveland Police Department with turkey and all the trimmings.

Joe Jones, the president and founder of Fathers Lives Matter, dropped off Thanksgiving meals on Thursday morning.

“The East Cleveland Police Department just had a high profile case which they did a phenomenal job in solving and making [arrests],” Jones said. “We as a community need to start building bridges back.”

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Earlier this month, East Cleveland police investigators along with FBI and Secret Service agents investigated the abduction and torture of Alishah Pointer, 22, whose body was found in an abandoned home on Savannah Avenue. Authorities have arrested a half-dozen suspects in connection with Pointer’s death.

Jones said he wanted to recognize and thank the department for its work on Pointer’s case and others.

“The only way we’re going to get crime down is to build better relationships,” Jones said. “We also want to thank all of our men and women in blue for their service and what they do.”

Around the squad room at East Cleveland Police headquarters, officers were chowing down on the surprise feast, which included turkey and all the sides you’d expect for Thanksgiving.

“We are very thankful for it,” said Officer Michael Woodside. “Obviously, we don’t get to be home with our families and we don’t get to eat the good food our families are eating. We appreciate that very much.”

The organization A Plate 4 Us also donated meals to the East Cleveland Police Department.