Good deeds and deer accidents kept Island police busy over the long holiday weekend.

In Edgartown, officers provided 41 families with a turkey and other Thanksgiving fixings Thursday with the help of donations from several Island organizations. The tradition, now in its fourth year, was conceived by officer William Bishop and Det. Michael Snowden as a way of providing for residents with limited resources and giving people a chance to put a face to the police that serve them.

“It’s important to us for people in the community to have something positive in their lives and a positive relationship with the police department,” Officer Bishop said. “The idea is we’re here in the community to help whenever we can.”

Edgartown police load a pickup truck with turkeys and Thanksgiving fixings. — Courtesy Edgartown Police

He said officers were able to hand out more food than ever before this year thanks to food donations from Stop & Shop and Cash and Carry, along with a cash donation from 19 Raw Oyster Bar owner Joe Monteiro.

The holiday spirit was also alive and well Wednesday in Vineyard Haven where Tisbury officers helped Stop & Shop customers load Thanksgiving groceries into their vehicles and accepted food donations for the Island Food Pantry. Organizer Det. Max Sherman said officers were able to fill a truckbed with a variety of donated non-perishable goods, along with a few fresh turkeys.

Detective Sherman said he came up with the idea for the fundraiser last year after watching shoppers struggling to lug bags loaded down with food, and being forced to take several trips in a busy parking lot. He echoed Mr. Bishop’s sentiments that getting officers to pitch in and collect donations for the Island Food Pantry was a way of saying thanks to residents.

“We wanted to give back to the community that allows us to be safe and protect and serve the community,” he said.

He added that the department welcomes suggestions for what to call the fundraiser in the future.

“We tried Stop and Shop with a Cop,” he joked. “There’s no official name. We’re working on that.”

In West Tisbury, Lieut. Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd said officers received a call Saturday morning about a 2005 Ford Pickup truck that struck a tree late Friday night on Sumner Circle after swerving to avoid hitting a deer. He said the 39-year-old male driver was found in his Tisbury home uninjured and the truck was totaled in the accident.

He said other than a few other minor deer-related incidents, it was an uneventful weekend.

“We’re thankful for it and everybody behaved themselves,” Lieutenant Manter said.

Oak Bluffs, Chilmark and Aquinnah reported quiet weekends.