"I have a family and I can't imagine losing everything," Burbank
Police communications operator Renee DeCastro said.
The Waveland Police Department was totally destroyed when
Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29. Twenty-three of its
officers lost everything they owned and all the officers are now
working out of a 26-foot trailer, DeCastro said.
Rather than work through one of the larger relief organizations,
where donated items are distributed to the general population in
areas damaged by Katrina, DeCastro wanted to do something with a more
personal touch, she said.
"We wanted to concentrate on a smaller department we could have a
greater impact on," DeCastro said.
Following the hurricane, the Waveland officers used safety-pins to
attach badges to their T-shirts to identify themselves, she said.
A call was put out through the Burbank Police Officers Assn. for
uniforms, protective vests, boots, gun belts, flashlights, batteries
and other police necessities.
"A pick-up loaded with boxes went out [Monday] morning," Burbank
Police Lt. Ron Caruso said. "Every day when you come back there are
The boxes are filled with older but usable police equipment, and
clothing and other store-bought supplies to help out the officers and
their families, DeCastro said.
The supplies are the best way to help out because there is no
place nearby to shop, Caruso said.
"There isn't a store within 100 miles," DeCastro added.
Monetary donations to be used to purchase police equipment will be
accepted by the department, DeCastro said.
For more information, DeCastro can be contacted at (818) 238-3000.