The Turlock Police Department is having to put their popular giving program Blue Santa on hiatus for this season because of budget and labor constraints.
Operation Blue Santa started in 2012 with the mission of providing toys and donated items to children and families in need. On average the program gave gifts to 163 children and 82 families each year, said Turlock Police spokesperson Sgt. Michael Parmley. The operation also included school and home visits by Blue Santa and presentations on crime prevention and safety.
“It really helped foster relations with people so that they saw us not just in our role as law enforcement,” Parmley said.
The logistics and planning for Operation Blue Santa started long before the holidays arrive. The police department made the decision they would not be able to carry out the program this year.
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