The police department had partnered with the Training and Motivation Center seven years ago and collected donations for a back-to-school program for kids in need.
When someone is trying to make a contribution to society, it is important to extend your support to them. But one store manager disrupted the social cause because of his own personal beliefs. According to Fox61, police officers along with volunteers working for a community outreach program were kicked out from a Target store by the manager because he did not support the police.
Wonder how much they’ll support police when they’re robbed: New Britain mayor says Target manager kicked police off premises during department's school supply drive | News | https://t.co/URz0obQYO1 https://t.co/qlNB746Coi— Clint (@pack_rulz1978) August 14, 2020
Timothy Conaway, a co-founder of the community outreach group, the Training and Motivation Center (TMC) partnered with the New Britain Police Department and launched their back-to-school fundraiser program almost seven years ago. So, Conaway along with two officers arrived at Target in the 400-block of Hartford Road on 8 August, 2020, for the fundraiser. The man, who is a long time resident of New Britain and the two officers were all set for the “Stuff a Cruiser” event at the Target store. However, it did go as planned.
To their surprise, the store manager asked Conaway, and the officers to leave the store. Though they explained why they were there, the store manager was adamant. He wanted them out.
Recalling the event, Conaway said, "I told him I was here last year and he didn’t agree or believe me and he told us to leave. We were shocked. The officers were looking like ‘you really you want us to leave’ and he said yes."
The police officers and the volunteers from the TMC were amazed but they had no option but to leave. They did not wait to argue or create a ruckus at the store. But they definitely were disappointed by the incident.
Meanwhile, the incident came to the notice of the mayor. She addressed the event on Twitter, on August 11, and criticized the superstores for its attitude towards a good cause.
“So our @newbritainpd was trying to do their annual back to school supply drive and the @Target manager told them to leave because he doesn’t support the police. Anyone want to make a donation? #newbritain #comeonmana #itsforthekids,” tweeted New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart. New Britain’s Fire Chief Raul Ortiz responded to the tweet and stated, "I’ll donate. That is unbelievable. Isn’t community policing and involvement what we want more of? Our NBPD has been exceptional in that aspect."
Soon, Target responded by apologizing for the unfortunate incident. The mayor took to Twitter to confirm that the regional manager of the New Britain Target location had called in to express his regret. She also stated that the regional manager even made a personal contribution of $500 to the fundraiser. Additionally, he welcomed the volunteers and the police officers to the store for the fundraiser at a convenient date in the future.
The positive news was a relief to Conaway. He hopes to run a successful school supplies fundraiser on his second try. “We don’t know what’s going to happen with school – how many days are going to be gone, but everybody is in need right now,” said the man, according to Blue Lives Matter.
Target headquarters, on the other hand, released a statement on Twitter clarifying the details of the incident and the aftermath. “We have a long history of supporting the New Britain community and we’re sorry for the misunderstanding. We’ve talked with police and they’re returning to our store this weekend for their back-to-school drive. In addition, Target’s donating school supplies to support the efforts," wrote Target.
Yes... THANK YOU! @Target We are very thankful. See you this weekend - I’m low on diapers anyway 😉 ✌🏽❤️— Mayor Erin Stewart (@erinstewartct) August 12, 2020
With the matter resolved, the TMC along with the police officers are planning to get back to the Target store to collect donations for the school supplies on the August 15 and 16.