In addition to keeping their communities safe, police departments from coast to coast strive to better their communities at Christmas, thinking up ways to help the disadvantaged — or responding immediately to lend a helping hand.
Police officers in one Arkansas town have helped a disabled man create a little holiday cheer — responding to a call from the mayor via Facebook, Fox 5 Atlanta reported, to help hang outdoor Christmas lights.
“Some days it’s not just about writing tickets and taking people to jail.”
“It is an important part of Christmas to me,” the resident told Mayor Edwards. “I have only one eave that needs a sliding aluminum ladder, which I do not have.”
When several local police officers responded, Edwards was grateful, the news station reported.
“Thanks for giving back to the community, and thanks for a job well done,” Edwards told the officers.
The Centerton Police Department shared four photos on Facebook of the officers stringing the lights on the resident’s home, posting, “Some days it’s not just about writing tickets and taking people to jail. Community policing is a major need in this day and age, and we believe even the smallest acts can leave lasting effects!”
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In Colorado, police took time out from their normal duties to help 40 deserving kids feel some Christmas magic with a shopping spree at Target, according to wideblueline.com.
This is the fifth year the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and the Pueblo Police Department have helped underprivileged kids in their community celebrate Christmas, in an event called “Heroes and Helpers.”
The kids were each handed gift cards worth $150 and a stuffed Christmas stocking — and had their photos taken with their special “hero.”
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Over in Illinois, the Carbondale Police Department — like so many others around the nation — hosts an annual Community Christmas program for children in need. The department is intent on providing some carefree holiday time for children whose day-to-day lives may not be as magical.
“The program has evolved to have parents more involved in the selection of gifts for their children. Our program is now held at the police department and parents sign up to shop for their children,” the police department said on its website.
On the West Coast, a Livermore, California, police officer spent his own money to buy a bicycle for an eight-year-old boy. The boy chose to spend money allotted to him for Christmas gifts on items for his siblings instead, as part of that city’s Shop with a Cop program.
“The officer was so touched by the boy’s desire to use the $150 to buy his loved ones gifts that he bought the boy a bike using his own money,” reported the Howell Patch. “Police said the boy was so excited about the new bike that he rode it up and down the aisles of the store.”