Oxford, Miss., lost its native son Ed Aschoff in a Christmas Eve tragedy, but Christmas day brings us the heartwarming story of 3-year-old Bailey Stacey, who, as the Oxford Eagle and the Oxford Police Department tell it, saved Christmas. The story dials back to Bailey's neighbor, police officer Rachel Ratcliffe, who says Bailey came over one day, "introduced himself and asked about police work. I let him climb in (her patrol car), he turned on the lights and he turned on the siren. He was just always asking how I was doing and if I saved anyone that day.” Says Bailey's dad, Ratcliffe "would always make time for Bailey," no matter how tired she was. It was a rough year for the Staceys, and when their house flooded, Ratcliffe opened her home to them. With Christmas rolling around, she decided to set up a Grinch-themed "investigation" for Bailey to solve.
Ratcliffe set up clues for Bailey to follow to save Oxford—and his own present—from the Grinch. The police department tweeted a video of it all. Officer Renika Franks set up clues at the Oxford and Lafayette County Library, Avent Park, and City Hall, hustling to keep ahead of Bailey and Ratcliffe. “I think I had more fun than Bailey did,” Franks said. Mayor Robyn Tannehill and Police Chief Jeff McCutchen were in on the fun, and Police Cpl. Blake Horton played the Grinch. Bailey caught the Grinch green-handed in the mayor's office, stuffing Christmas presents into his sack. Rather than clapping him in handcuffs, Bailey shook hands with the Grinch, who pointed out his present—a Power Wheels police car. Since then, Bailey's dad says, his son has run every morning, almost as soon as he wakes up, to make sure his patrol car is still safe and secure.
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