Ridgeland cuts ribbon on Canon’s Closet
The Ridgeland Police Department became the home of Canon’s Closet on Wednesday morning to serve as a place to store items for abandoned children and pets.
The closet is named after a former K-9 officer, Canon, and also serves to honor Sgt. Ray Daniels, his handler, who passed away in July 2022.
RPD officers, Mayor Gene McGee, Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce members, and other city officials gathered in the PD’s roll call room to cut the ribbon and make Canon’s Closet official.
Linda Bynum, executive director of the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce, said Ridgeland officers are often called to hotels, motels, apartments, abandoned houses, and cars to find children, often with their pets, alone and hungry.
“Our officers take these children to the Ridgeland Police Station and inform Child Protective Services,” Bynum said. “Pets are placed with the American Animal Rescue League. While the children and pets wait at the station, our officers go to local stores and purchase necessities for them. They pay for these items with their own money. But because of the generosity of our great citizens of Ridgeland and surrounding areas, this will no longer be the case. Everything a child could need or want is inside the closet.”
Items inside the closet include diapers, pull-ups, baby wipes non-perishable food and drink items, blankets, hygiene items, coloring books, crayons, toys, stuffed animals, books, clothing, as well as cat and dog food.
Mayor McGee spoke and said he is thankful to the Chamber and all the officers who put their lives on the line.
“There’s been a lot of trying times with our officers and some of them have had to do things that aren’t pleasant,” McGee said. “Every single one of them are professionals and they make Ridgeland proud. I’m proud of this closet and I’m proud of everyone supporting it. I know this will be something that will continue for years to come.”
Police Chief Bryan Myers said the closet is something good coming from a very sad situation.
“This closet reminds me of a situation we had where there were three or four kids here at the station,” Myers said. “We found them in a hotel room. They had nothing. They were filthy, and the parents dropped the ball. Our officers spent their own money buying things like food and coloring books and we had these kids here for six or seven hours, and we were able to get them everything they needed.”
To close out the ceremony, Father Albeenreddy Vatti at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church blessed the closet and prayed over all the officers in the department.
To learn more about Canon’s Closet, call RPD at (601) 856-2121.