By: Mike Rhodes—
Since last Friday, the Muncie Police Department has been randomly showing up at homes across town with Santa Claus to deliver Christmas presents to local children.
This afternoon, I had the opportunity to ride along with four officers, and investigators for a while as they delivered presents to the kids. This afternoon, presents were being delivered to children from the Muncie Boys & Girls Club, but a variety of kids are receiving gifts from MPD.
The toys were donated by the Indiana Pacers. According to Jami Brown, an investigator with the police department, “Our police chief got a call out-of-the-blue one day and the Indiana Pacers asked him if the team could donate some toys to the police department.”
Suddenly, 3,000 toys—appropriate for children age 2 through 8— arrived at the Muncie Police Department. This year was the first year for the Muncie Police Department to partner with the Indiana Pacers to roll out the program. Parents of the children were told when the officers would arrive, so they and their children would be home. All presents were colorfully wrapped in a variety of Christmas wrapping paper by the officers and community volunteers prior to being delivered by Santa.
Children were selected to receive gifts by individual police officers, the Center Township Trustee’s Office, the Pediatric floor at Ball Hospital, the YWCA, the MPD Domestic Violence Unit, the Muncie Boys & Girls club and others.
Over 400 bags of candy were also given to police officers to randomly hand out during their shifts. Some police officers stopped drivers on the street…walked up to the car…and handed the grateful driver a few gifts or candy.
Jami said, “On our very first street stop, a woman broke out in tears… she was so grateful and appreciative to have some toys and candy for her kids.”
Officers Qualls and Pierce, from the MPD midnight shift, got a special assignment at the beginning of their shift. Santa Claus asked them to deliver gifts to a special little girl. Officers Qualls and Pierce (both fathers) took the time to hand select the little girl’s gifts. The officers delivered the gifts to the little girl’s mother.
In addition to the Pacers toys, Brian L. Shrieve of Amber’s Beauty School donated gift cards for officers of the domestic violence unit to distribute to women who have been victims of domestic violence. The gift cards were for beauty salon services.
MPD Santas will be out doing deliveries until Christmas, or until all gifts are gone.
Social media has been on fire about the MPD program. A few Facebook quotes are below.
“I want to say a special thank you for stopping by today! You made my son super excited. He loved explaining Santa was here to his sisters!”
“I wonder what channel the squad car radio has to be on to talk to the elves…”
“This is awesome!”
“GREAT JOB BROTHERS”
“Just another example of how our great officers care about our community. Well done and God Bless you and all our Public Service men and women.”
“AWESOME men/women in blue”
“The women played games with my grand daughter on the 4th floor of BMH…made her day! Thank you Merry Christmas!”
“Aww!! We saw Santa yesterday off of Jackson…. my son was beyond thrilled, so I turned the car around and went to go back as he drove away. Landon was sad at this point until they were at a light and Santa waved to him!! That made his day. Thanks Santa!!!”
“You absolutely made my baby’s day, thank you so much!!! God bless you!!”
“Love it. well done. Thanks!”
“HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS!!!! GREAT JOB JAMI!!!!”
You can view 14 photos taken today below. Will play automatically, or you can click through them.
Thank you Jami L. Brown, Trudy Swain, Sergeant Sloan, Stephanie Reed, Santa (Officer Quintin Cooper) and Kevin from the Muncie Boys & Girls Club for allowing the Muncie Journal to tag along today!
About the Muncie Police Department
The mission of the Muncie Police Department is to improve the quality of life of all persons within the Muncie Community by strengthening a partnership based on individual responsibility and community commitment which enhances safe, secure neighborhoods through the delivery of quality police service.
The Muncie Police Department has a diverse, well trained force of young officers serving Muncie. Many officers hold various advanced degrees, certifications, and other forms of specialized training that brings a skillset as diverse as the dedicated men and women of the Muncie Police Department that put their lives on the line every day to protect citizens.
The Muncie Police Department is committed to taking every action within their power to make residents and visitors safe and secure so they can go about their daily lives and business.
Visit the Muncie Police Department on Facebook for more information.