The Fulton Police Department is creating a master list of local “good samaritans” and are looking for names to go on it.
The Fulton Police Department will be hosting a special meeting for any area churches, individuals or organizations that have “good samaritan” funds this Thursday, Jan. 3, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Fulton City Hall board room.
According to Fulton Police Chief Reggie Johnson, a “good samaritan fund” is money set aside to help people in dire straits. This usually amounts to people who are stranded in the area and need a helping hand. This could be something as small as paying for a tank of gas or putting them up for the night.
Johnson said these kinds of situations come up more than people expect, oftentimes late at night.
“It happens quite a bit,” Johnson said. When it does, it’s usually local police officers who are contacted; oftentimes, they don’t know where to go from there.
“We’ve had some incidents where one of our officers will pay for a tank of gas or something like that out of his own pocket,” Johnson said.
As an example, he said a couple was recently traveling through Itawamba County when their car’s alternator broke down. Although they had enough pocket money for their trip, they couldn’t afford the cost of replacing the alternator. Johnson said a local organization helped them get a new one and sent them on their way.
Johnson hopes the special meeting, which he promised will be short, is create a master list of contacts who are willing to help people like the aforementioned stranded couple.
Those who can’t attend the meeting, the police chief said, can contact him at the Fulton Police Department by calling 862-3441.
Additionally, he wants the list to include information such as the extent in which said “good samaritan” is willing to help: Will they purchase a tank of gas, give them money for food or foot the bill for a night’s stay at a local hotel? These details will make it easier to know whom to contact when an emergency occurs.
Johnson said before any organization is contacted, police run a background check on the person seeking help.
“We check these people out when they want us to help them,” Johnson said. “If we contact an organization, the person [legitimately] needs help.”