Cop with a Donut Shop
Everyone in Tulsa Knows Debra
The amazing smell washes over you when you open the door. You try to fight it, but your mouth can’t help but water as you scan the trays of glazed donuts, long johns, cinnamon rolls, fritters, and bear claws.
It’s not a fair fight.
The manager at the counter of Cherry Street Daylight Donuts smiles and greets everyone. And they smile back at her. Almost everyone in Tulsa, OK knows Debra Dickens Holmes.
Oh yeah, and she’s a cop. A cop with a donut shop.
“I know what everyone thinks,” Debra says as she laughs. “But for me, this is about developing relationships with people, celebrating birthdays with the kids, and being a part of a big, happy family.”
Public Servant and Public Service
A Tulsa Police Officer for 28 years, Debra’s well known around town. A member of the Safe Kids Coalition in Tulsa, Debra has installed thousands of car seats. One event she coordinates in a Tulsa minority community even includes a car seat giveaway combined with a massive Easter egg hunt.
Among numerous other activities, Debra also coordinates a statewide awards event for Oklahoma law enforcement efforts in traffic safety called the Buckledown Awards. State Farm supports many of these events and organizations through Good Neighbor Citizenship grants and local volunteers.
“When I was a new police officer, I realized very quickly I could enforce the law all day by writing tickets,” Debra says. “But I wanted to be involved in preventing those things from happening in the first place.”
And that’s how the donut shop happened.
A Cop Buys a Donut Shop
While spending her Saturdays teaching defensive driving courses, Debra would stop to buy donuts for her class.
She got to know the owners of the donut shop and was made aware of their plans to sell the business. “I fell in love with the people there and thought this would be a great way to make people happy.”
In the fall of 2014 Debra bought Cherry Street Daylight Donuts and began making Tulsans happy.
On any given day, her uncles, mother, son and other family members are greeting customers along with Debra, sharing some sugary sweet happiness.
“As my career as a policeman winds down, I wanted to continue to touch people in a positive way. The donut shop helps me connect with the community and impact people’s lives.”