For almost 2 decades the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office has given Santa a hand during the holidays by brightening Christmas with lights, sirens, and a little toy shopping.
Police officers from all over Bingham County took a few hours off of catching criminals, and used their skills to track down the perfect toy.
“It’s just what law enforcement’s really about, service. And it’s good to serve our community,” said one officer participating, Karl Bowcutt.
50 officers team up with 50 kids from families who could use a little extra Christmas magic, the kids pick out gifts for their family members and Bingham County Sheriff’s Office, with help from various fundraisers, pick up the tab.
“Hello Kitty and fishing stuff,” is what Scarlett Hansen chose, Ramon Wheeler told us, “we bought my mom candles,”, Wendy Larios got her brothers “some transformers”, and Elizabeth Cleavland said, “I picked out some monster high things, coloring, a robe and some bath things.”
The Santa’s Helpers Program also helps put a different perspective on law enforcement and helps break the ice between the sometimes intimidating officers and young children.
“I think it’s important for the kids to have a positive attitude towards law enforcement, our dispatch center has been putting on this program for 17 years now, and it’s just a wonderful program and officers have a blast doing it and we just have a good time out here shopping with the kids,” said Captain Robert Sobieski of the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office.
The shopping and all the wrapping is fun for the officer’s as well, giving them a little break from their tough jobs and getting them in the Christmas spirit, and maybe preparing them for their big Christmas dinners too.
“She’s had me up and down these store aisles 30 times so get a little bit of exercise in the meantime,” added Captain Sobieski.
The Bingham County Sheriff’s Office buys presents for 50 additional families a year, making Christmas special for 100 families total. In the past, families in need have signed up through SEICAA, but they are hoping to go through the school district next year, and are always looking for donations to make the program bigger and better every year.