PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When it comes to being a cop, fashion isn’t a priority but one officer still knows the positive effect a good outfit can have on confidence.
Michel Wilson has been an officer with the Beaverton Police Department for the past 10 years.
“It’s not just a place that you get lost or a number — you actually get to know who you’re working with and that’s what makes coming to work every day so much fun,” she said.
Despite her daily blue uniform, Wilson knows how to have fun with fashion.
“I love wearing dresses or skirts and bright colors and fun things like that,” she said. “It really makes me feel good.”
Wilson and her colleagues want others to feel the same way so they started collecting donations in Wilson’s basement five years ago.
The project grew to fill a garage and, eventually, most of a backyard.
“And then it got to the point where we were and got really excited about this and we thought, you know, we can make our own clothing closet for people to come in,” Wilson said. “And so we actually partnered with the police department since we all work here and actually have been able to host our party at the police department for the first time in 2019.”
The project is now known as the “Ladies in Blue Clothing Closet.” The donations are often brand new and a boon to the local charities that Wilson gives them to.
“I think everyone should have that opportunity to have just a really an outfit that just makes them feel super confident and excited and feel good about themselves,” she said.
And the Ladies in Blue project is also helping the police department build a better relationship with the people of Beaverton.
“We want to go out and help our community members and I feel like this is just another way that we can really impact the women in our community,” Wilson said. “And, like I said, give them that great outfit on maybe a bad day.”
Wilson and two other officers only collect donations among their family and friends between June and September. The Ladies in Blue Clothing Closet will open in the fall to low-income students in the Beaverton School District, HomePlate Youth Services, Hawthorn Center, SARC, DVRC, Salvation Army Veterans Shelter, Union Gospel Shelter, Camp Rosenbaum and B-SOBR participants.
“Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who are wearing them are,” Wilson said.
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