ST. LOUIS – Female St. Louis police officers are going above and beyond investigating domestic violence. They are making sure female victims and children staying in shelters have their basic needs as part of the Blue Bags for Swag program.
"I got some pretty boots that I really need and I got this lovely bag that I love and I really needed another handbag, so this came in very handy. I have a housecoat that I didn't have,” said Maurreusa Wallace, a Blue Bag with Swag recipient.
About 200 women at four shelters were given purses filled with personal items such as shampoo, feminine hygiene products, brushes, and makeup. Winter coats, scarves, gloves, and children's clothing are also available.
Officers who answer domestic calls organized the Blue Bags with Swag program for women victims, who often must leave a dangerous home situation in short order with very little in the way of daily essentials.
"A lot of women that we work with in the law enforcement area unattach themselves and just realize that we are women as well and what we do for others is what we would someone to do for us if we were walking in those shoes," said Officer Heather Moore, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Wallace said having basic daily items makes all the difference to these women.
"It wasn't easy. Sometimes, you think ‘Oh well, you are too good to come to shelters and people will talk about you,’ but once I got here and seen the type of love that I was receiving and the help that I'm receiving, it makes me very happy and thankful for it," she said.
This is the fourth year for the Blue Bags with Swag program and the SLMPD says it will begin collecting donations during the Christmas holiday season this year for their fifth year celebration next year.