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Police department shows its holiday spirit

One of the beneficiaries from Anaheim's Family Justice Center's "Adopt A Family" poses with Santa (Sgt. Mike Brucks).

One of the beneficiaries from Anaheim’s Family Justice Center’s “Adopt A Family” poses with Santa (Sgt. Mike Brucks).

For the last few weeks, Anaheim Police Department collaborated with local businesses and volunteers to hold “Adopt A Family,” “Shop with a Cop,” and Toy Drives, delivering hundreds of gifts and Holiday meals.

“The Holidays are a time for giving and offer great opportunities to connect with our residents,” said newly appointed Chief of Police Raul Quezada.  “With the phenomenal support we get, we can make some very special things happen.”

Anaheim’s Family Justice Center adopted 42 families – at approximately $300 per family – and delivered gifts December 20, with Sgt. Mike Brucks appearing as Santa for the fourth consecutive year.  This was the fifth annual event.

Cops 4 Kids stuffed the jailbus – adorned with a red nose and antlers – with the hundreds of gifts they’d spent almost a week wrapping.  Families came to pick up their gifts from the bus-turned reindeer.  Those who couldn’t make the trip had their gifts hand-delivered by cops in patrol cars.

This came after Cops 4 Kids’ “Shop with A Cop” event, where police officers were paired with in-need students for an hour shopping in an otherwise empty department store.

Ofc. Pat Bradley and the rest of the Traffic Bureau adopted the Pech family, whose hasn’t regained mobility since being struck by a car October 11.

“I’m glad we were able to put something like this together for the family,” said Bradley.  “The Holidays can be extremely tough for families that are dealing with trauma so we’re trying to do anything we can for that family.”

The campaigns were held in addition to the daily goings on in the department.  Interim Police Chief Quezada was named permanent Chief seven months after initially assuming that role.

“This time of year is a great opportunity for us to show ourselves in a different light,” said Quezada.  “It’s important to show that we are people, too, beneath our uniforms and these events go a long way in sending that message.”

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