Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Wichita police officers made Christmas a little brighter for children in need Tuesday night. Officers at both Lord's Diner locations handed out bags filled with toys and candy to children eating there with their families.
We spoke with the officer who organized the event and he said he hopes it will help build good relationships between children and police officers.
For the second Christmas in a row, Officer Steven Jerrell is handing out gifts to children at the Lord's Diner. The tradition started last year when while working as an off duty officer, Jarrell noticed how many children came into the diner every night.
“It kind of made us feel bad, feel sorry that they had to come here on a regular basis but also on Christmas,” Officer Steven Jarrell said.
His goal was to put a smile on the face of children like Celinda Hernandez. Her mom tells us without the Lord's Diner her family wouldn't have had Christmas dinner. The gifts were an unexpected surprise.
"I was excited. That was really awesome for them to let the kids have some Christmas presents and stockings,” Lailoni Hernandez said.
Inside each of the bags was a toy and some candy but police say what they really hope makes a lasting impression on kids is who these gifts are from.
“These kids, this may be the only positive interaction they ever have with law enforcement so it's important for that reason,” Officer Jarrell.
Judging by all the happy faces we saw, Jarrell's plan seems to be working. And it's definitely parent approved.
“Most definitely I really do, they really enjoy the police officers here actually they tell them every time they get done eating that they enjoy everything they do,” Hernandez said.