"Santa Cops" Dispatch Joy In Richmond

By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email
Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Imagine seeing flashing blue lights in front of your house and then a few seconds later hearing a knock at the door. It can't possibly be good news right? For a little more than a dozen families in Richmond that scene was more than good news Monday night. It meant Christmas was about to become a whole lot better.

With the same intensity of a drug raid the Richmond City Police descended on Rosa Riveria's apartment in South Richmond.

But what they found on the other side of her door, was nothing like the response in a search for criminals.

"Oohh gracia, muchos gracia!" exclaimed Riveria when she opened her door.

"We see some tears wiped away, some smiles and some laughter," said Riverad Police Capt. Steve Drew, part of the team that delivered toys to families in Richmond.

In a matter of minutes, Christmas went from being spartan to spectacular as an empty apartment was soon filled with toys and presents.

Rosa, who wasn't sure where the presents were going to come from, now has something to celebrate.

"It's very nice," she said. "I am very happy for my son and my daughter."

A similar scene took place Monday night at 12 different Richmond homes. Homes like Joann Bulls', where struggling to get by does not include a Christmas tree full of presents.

"Well it was kind of tight cause we moved here at the last second right before spring break," said Bulls. "I wasn't sure how I was going to provide a Christmas for them."

And gratitude like that is the greatest gift these officers could ever ask for.

"Nobody's here on overtime," said Capt. Drew. "They came because they enjoy doing it and they care about their community."

The Richmond Police Department works with the Virginia Attorney General's office to make these gift giving trips a reality.

The project is an off shoot of the gang reduction intervention program.

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