MOORE — After a tornado swept through Central Arkansas last week, devastating the little town of Vilonia for the second time in three years, Moore police officers knew they wanted to lend a helping hand.
A handful of officers met Sunday morning with plans to travel to Vilonia, north of Little Rock, which took a hard hit from an EF-4 tornado. The group plans to cook and feed law enforcement working the disaster area.
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis, public information officer, said they decided last year that if an event like this occurred they would step up and help just as others helped them. Last May a police department from Louisiana came and cooked for Moore police. Now, they’re paying it forward.
“We just felt that (them cooking) was very beneficial to us,” Lewis said. “We’re going to go to Arkansas for at least three days and take care of them.”
Sac and Fox police officer Rich Anthony will also be traveling with the group of officers. Anthony was an officer over 15 years, working both the May 3, 1999 and May 20 tornadoes that tore through the city. He said he wanted to help provide an area for people to sit down and relax for a little bit after working so hard and seeing so much devastation.
“We’ve worked all these disasters,” Anthony said. “It gets to you after awhile and to step back and take a break means a lot.”
Anthony is also the owner of Mosquito Joe and is planning to take his equipment and spray around the area they will be cooking, he said. They have even put together somewhat of a menu that includes catfish, hamburgers, breakfast burritos and even some gumbo.
“We’ll have to get up at like 3 a.m. to make over 600 breakfast burritos for everybody,” he said. “It’s totally well worth it to make everybody feel kinda at home again.”