Lake City sends generosity to Mississippi town

By Justin Boron

Lake City has donated two police cruisers to a police department in Ocean Springs Miss., whose chief says they desperately need the cars to serve the city's residents.

Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt said Hurricane Katrina hasn't left much for the city of about 17,000.

"They lost everything during Katrina," he said. "Even their police department is starting from scratch."

A convoy of two police cars and a van filled with clothes for Katrina victims in Ocean Springs headed toward Mississippi today.

"We can't just go empty-handed," said David Colwell, the chief of the Lake City Police Department.

The International Farmer's Market in Lake City, whose owners arrived in this country in the mid-1970s, donated much of the clothing.

"We've been blessed since coming to this country and we are only too pleased to do the little bit we can to help," the owner said.

Kerry Belk, the chief of Ocean Springs Police Department, said he was overwhelmed by the gesture from his comrades.

"We are just so grateful. We still have public safety responsibilities here and when you don't even have a patrol car, it makes it difficult to meet our citizens' needs - and they need so very, very much."

Oswalt also gave credit to the city's taxpayers for the donations.

"We're not a big community, but we are a big-hearted community," he said.

For those wishing to donate office supplies, tables, chairs, electronic equipment, or cash for the Ocean Springs police, call (404)-366-8085.