STOCKTON (CBS13) — Stockton Police officers armed with presents brightened the holiday for crime victims.
Dozens of officers and volunteers spent Christmas morning carrying out a very special mission: Making holiday wishes come true for recent crime victims and their families, as well as those in need this holiday season.
“It’s extra special for us, ’cause things have been really tough,” Lisa Galindo said as she teared up.
In all, Santa’s Stockton helpers spread Christmas cheer to nearly two-dozen families. Police Chief Eric Jones and his family joined in on the holiday tradition.
Volunteers gathered at dawn, split into three teams and hit the streets where people on the block are no strangers to the police presence.
“We heard all of the sirens,” one resident said. “But this is for a good reason, not ’cause there’s craziness out there.”
Officers surprised children, many who have been forced to face crime.
“I think it was really cool, because my mom doesn’t have a lot of money to pay for presents,” said Josiah Galindo.
A child-abuse detective who has since passed away started the program that’s now in its 14th year spreading Christmas cheer.
The hope for police is that special deliveries like this will let neighbors know officers are here to help.
“When we knock on the door and see their expression on their face and the gleam in their eye, we know we are making a difference in their lives,” said Officer Joe Silva.