DETROIT – Police transformed a holding cell in the Detroit Police Department 6th Precinct into something meant to help the community.
The precinct turned the former cells into donation centers. They changed the purpose of the room and gave it a new coat of paint.
“This used to be a dark, dirty place back here for people that weren’t doing what they were supposed to do in the community,” Detroit Police Neighborhood Officer Nicole Wallace said. “So we’ve decided to turn it into something that will uplift and help the community.”
The officers have stocked each holding cell with donations.
“Clothes, shoes, diapers, baby food,” Wallace said. “Anything you can think of, we give it away.”
They are calling it the community closet.
“This is open to the entire city of Detroit,” Wallace said. “Anyone who is struggling to get by.”
The department has been working to connect with Detroiters for the past year in a positive way.
“We’re not always just out here to put people in jail or to deal with really bad situations. We can also help you out when you’re not -- when you don’t have the means to do so yourself,” Wallace said.
For some people, it’s an experience to see what a jail cell looks like.
“One particular woman that came here, she was brought to jail here years -- when this was open -- and she was like, ‘Oh my god. I can’t believe that this looks like this,’” Wallace said.
Police believe many of the items could be gone in a week.
If you’d like to donate new, or lightly used items the information is below:
Detroit Public Safety Foundation
6th Precinct Community Closet Fund
1301 Third St., Suite 547
Detroit, MI 48226