The 21 officers assigned to the work the overnight (aka: Dogwatch) shift in the 3rd Precinct talked about the community they serve and wanted to find a way to share the goodwill of the season. They decided to adapt a family who is in need. Officers discussed this opportunity and decided that they would all donate their own personal monies to help make this holiday a wonderful and memorable one.
The officers selected a particular family and began to “pass the hat” throughout the shift. Money was raised, enough for 5 children and one expectant mother. After the money was collected, the shopping began. Officers spent time off duty shopping and getting gifts. After the presents were purchased, they needed to be wrapped. Officers handled that task as well.
The Bike Cops for Kids heard about the efforts of the 3rd Precinct cops and wanted to help as well. The Bike Cops talked with the Target Corporation who donated three bicycles for the oldest kids in the adopted family. Those bikes were transported to the precinct where they sat waiting for the big delivery.
On Christmas Eve, the night shift had their roll call and quickly loaded up the gifts into squad cars and headed to the adopted family’s apartment. The family was SO surprised to see officers at their door, one completely dressed as Santa Clause.
They presented the gifts to the mother and the children. The officers spent time with the family and celebrated the holiday with them. Officers played with the kids and photos were taken and shared; friendships were formed.
At the end of the evening, it was tough to tell who benefited more, the family that was surprised with a holiday blessing, or a group of officers who were dedicated to their community enough to make it happen!