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Southport police officer goes above the call of duty to help victims of domestic violence

SOUTHPORT, Ind. (WISH) — They’re sworn to serve and protect, but one local police officer is going above the call of duty.

Upon signing on to the Southport Police Department, Cameron Ellis thought of how he might use his platform to help those who’ve been victimized by domestic violence. He never imagined that his little idea, would make such a big impact.

For Ellis, there’s no job more rewarding than being a police officer. “Every time I put on this uniform there’s only one thing that goes through my head, and that is; whose life am I going to change today and how am I going to do that?”

How? On the streets, patrolling the neighborhood and off the streets, doing something much different than police work.

“I just sent out a message and it basically said if you guys are willing to donate, I’m willing to pick it up off of you,” Ellis continued, “Within five hours I had all these clothes. I had more clothes and more articles to take back to my house than I had vehicles that were in rotation.”

Ellis helped collect more than 1,500 pieces of clothing, 100 bottles of hygiene products, diapers, formula, furniture, coats; an entire moving truck filled with donations. All went to the Julian Center, which is a domestic violence shelter downtown.

“It means the people who are starting new lives have what they need to start their new lives with,” said Catherine O’Connor who is the president and CEO of the Julian Center.

After the success of the first drive, Ellis started planning a second, something the Julian Center welcomes.

“For a department like Southport to really become invested in this work and really take it on as an integral part of their operation and a core of their values, is really extraordinary,” said O’Connor.

But if you ask Ellis, it’s not extraordinary, it’s just what makes him a police officer.

“I wanted to be a cop because I knew then I could honestly have an impact on somebody’s life. So, it’s good to be able to carry that childhood dream up to now, it’s a reality,” he said.

Ellis hopes to organize two drives a year. He plans to get other charities and organizations involved.

If you’d like to help in his effort, you can contact the Southport Police Department at 317-787-7595.