Gloria Opstad just wanted to say thank you. So late in May, she and Long Beach Italian restaurant, Buona Gente, donated 14 pizzas to the Westminster Police Department.
“The Westminster Police Department has been very supportive of our foundation — The Matt Ward Exploring On Association — so we wanted to give back to them during this stressful time,” she said. “Pizza was a small way to say thank you and we care. They were extremely appreciative and the pizza went fast!”
The donation is one of many the agency has received from businesses, organizations and individuals just wanting to thank officers and the agency for serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commander Alan Iwashita said there’s been a long list of donations.
“We actually had a sushi place from Mission Viejo donate food because one of our officers lives out there,” said Iwashita.
The Home Depot donated gloves, a representative from Hint beverages donated cases of flavored water, and Advanced Wellness Center in Westminster donated custom black face masks with the agency’s name on them. Also, project Tri An brought lunch for all WPD employees working on a recent weekend. The lunches were prepared by Ngoc Suong Restaurant in Westminster.
And there’s been more.
“Starbucks has donated tons of food to the agency as well,” said Iwashita. “We’ve had tons of people in the public donate hand sanitizers, masks, Lysol.”
WPD Det. Kyle Seasock, the Westminster Police Officer’s Association (WPOA) president, said there’s been an outpouring of food and masks from members of the community, which has been very supportive.
“The counter’s definitely been full,” he said. “The community’s been great.”
Deputy Chief Darin Upstill said that the support is much appreciated by employees.
“I think a lot of us appreciate the fact that they’re thinking about the first responders keeping them safe,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from a lot of different community members, people on social media.”
He said since they received so many mask donations, they were able to distribute them to other city departments that were short.
“We distributed to other city employees, like city hall, for other city workers, public works,” Upstill said.
Iwashita said the community response has been humbling.
“It’s very humbling to have the public reach out in such a way to be concerned about our welfare during this type of pandemic,” he said. “With everything going on, these individuals extended their graciousness to us to help the agency, the officers and our employees. It’s very nice to know that they support us the way they do.”