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RPD pairs with grocery store to help with food deliveries

A police officer at the door usually stirs up fear. Has there been an accident? Is someone in trouble? But for some in Rochester these days, that officer is delivering only good things.

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Cub Foods Store Director Joe Thompson helps Parking Control Officer Janet Scofield load groceries into the community service car to be delivered to higher risk and elderly individuals during the COVID pandemic on Tuesday, March, 31, 2020, in Rochester. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
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A police officer at the door usually stirs up fear. Has there been an accident? Is someone in trouble? But for some in Rochester these days, that officer is delivering only good things.

A partnership between Rochester Police Department's Community Service Officers and Cub Foods is bringing groceries to some of the community's most vulnerable people. 

A Facebook post about the effort went online Monday and officers made their first deliveries Tuesday morning.

The grocery delivery service was spearheaded by Parking Control Officer Janet Scofield, who said she wanted to do something in the community that was more hands-on than "just driving around to be seen."

"I wanted to do something that would help and yet, still keep people safe," Scofield said.

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The CSO service is aimed at those who are elderly, at high risk or are homebound and live in Rochester. Scofield and her two other parking colleagues are, for now, the only ones from the department who will be delivering groceries.

During the coronavirus state of emergency, parking control officers have been tasked with checking on businesses, churches and schools. Parking rules are not being enforced. That means the officers might have a little more time on their hands.

Among some of the first grocery delivery recipients were Joel Lovelace and Taylor Balfe.

"He’s not allowed outside because he has MS and cerebral palsy, so this worked out perfectly," said Balfe of friend Lovelace. "It puts down our risk of contracting it because if he gets coronavirus, he will be in the hospital and most likely pass because he has too many chronic underlying issues."

Scofield said she came up with the idea late last week after driving through the Cub parking lot and seeing a notice that the grocery store would start doing online orders.

"Community Service Officers may not be the first ones that come to mind when you think of the local COVID-19 response, but they’re making an immense impact on the lives of these residents," Police Chief James Franklin said.

For their part, Cub Foods manager Joseph Thompson said in a statement they were "happy to be part of the response effort for Rochester and proud to partner with our local community service officers to do so."

To place an order for delivery, customers can use instacart at https://shop.cub.com/ . Customers should select "Curbside Pickup," then enter "PD" for first name and "Delivery" for last name. The service is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cub will call customers when their orders are received.

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Community Service Officers deliver groceries

Community Service Officers deliver groceries

Community Service Officers deliver groceries

Community Service Officers deliver groceries

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Related Topics: POLICEFOOD
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