Some of Orange County’s newest law enforcement officers will play Santa for dozens of children in need of a little extra holiday cheer.
Officers from the Tustin and Signal Hill police departments went shopping Friday at Toys R’ Us at the Tustin Marketplace to purchase toys that will be delivered to the children’s hospital Saturday morning.
“Since we were blessed with that money, we wanted to give back,” Tustin Officer Chris Natividad said.
Forty-three officers from agencies including Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Habra and Westminster donated $20 a week while training at the academy.
The funds were slated for various charity events, thank you gifts for their instructors and other expenses.
The class recently learned there was about $1,700 remaining in the account.
Instead of using it for an end-of-year party or splitting the cash among themselves, they opted to donate.
“Community service is at the core of all training conducted at the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center,” says Executive Training Officer and Cypress Police Commander Rod Cox. “This act of kindness by the officers of the graduating class is a reflection of not only their training, but also their character, and desire to serve.”
Toys R’ Us opened early so the officers could have free rein of the store.
They filled their baskets with games, blocks, sporting goods, Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, DVDs and super hero figurines, among other items.
On Saturday, officers will load the gifts into their police cars and take them to CHOC, where parents of the hospital’s patients will be able to pick presents for their children.
“These families already have a lot of stress and have more to worry about than providing a good Christmas for their children,” said Tustin Officer Robert Nelson. “We wanted to do as much as we can to help.”