Above and beyond during the holidays

December 26, 2018

Recently, police officers have become targets of hatred, assaults and even deadly violence.  Right now is a perfect time to stop and reflect on the many ways in which police officers and other first responders such as firefighters and EMTs give up their holidays so that we can enjoy ours in safety.  Many also go above and beyond the call of duty by performing incredible volunteer work.  One of those was a listener of mine named Randy, a retired police sergeant from Wyoming.  He shared a memory of a time when playing Santa Claus should have come with hazardous duty pay. 

Randy wrote:

"For many years, it was my distinct pleasure to assume the role of 'real Santa' at Christmas time. Though my sleigh was still a black and white sedan, my uniform changed from dark blues to a genuine Santa suit. I appeared on Christmas Eve, right at bedtime, delivering toys to needy children as well as my fellow officers…who had small children. What made this all work was the 'understanding' of the parents to make sure the kids were close to the front window upon my arrival, that they were not allowed out on the porch (where I left their gifts) until I was out of sight, and under NO circumstances were any pets to be loose.

All the parents were following Santa's instructions to the letter...until I got to my Chief's house. I gently placed (his sons') gifts on the porch (and) began to shake the bells, anticipating three squashed, tiny faces peering into the frosty night, trying to catch a glimpse of Santa. To my surprise...No faces. I shook the bells harder and added a hearty ‘HO, HO, HO!’ Still, no faces.

Now in mid-‘HO,’ I heard the front door open and a small dog barking. 'For cryin' out loud,' I muttered, as I jumped toward the driveway. If only I'd remembered the small wire fence surrounding his wife's flower bed. There was no time to pick myself up, as I heard high-pitched giggles floating on the cold night air.  A quick double combat roll placed me out of innocent eyes' way, underneath my boss's pickup truck."

Then Randy heard a noise that seemed to be very close: "I smelled the dog food on his breath a scant millisecond before he yapped out the alarm. The 'WHOA!' that jumped from my lips was cut painfully short as I rammed my head into the pickup's driveline... The thought crossed my mind to reach out and pinch off his little windpipe, but that seemed a bit ugly for Christmas Eve."

A pair of cowboy boots suddenly replaced the dog: "I recognized my boss's voice as the words, 'Merry Christmas, heh, heh, heh," settled onto the cold concrete... 'Merry Christmas, Chief,' I replied as a solitary drop of black engine oil struck me dead center in the forehead. 'THANKS FOR NOT TURNING ON THE PORCH LIGHT!'

I continued on my rounds, a black greasy racing stripe running from my white curly beard to my belt, a well-lubricated lump on my forehead. I finished just as a soft snow began to fall, covering everything in a glistening blanket of white. It seemed the perfect punctuation mark to end another Christmas on Patrol."

Thanks again for that great story, Randy.  And thanks to all the police officers and other first responders and military members who go above and beyond, and sometimes even roll underneath, to keep us all safe during the holidays and all year ‘round.

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Comments 1-4 of 4

  • STEPHEN CITRON

    12/26/2018 11:18 AM

    I am not the Officer, but my Wife is a "Custody Assistant", with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept.
    Since the Department has a MANDATORY over time requirement, she seems to always get the "Short end". Our kids are now grown, and we do have Grand Kids. ( YES, ours are the cutest, and best !) She has tried to always let the younger CA's the time to be at home with their kids, and Families which goes a long way with her fellow Officers. To bring any kind of recorder, or DVD player is forbidden, but she has tried to wish the prisoners a merry Christmas, and to remember the REASON for this holiday. Many have thanked her for her heart felt wishes. Prison must be a horrible place, and especially at Christmas, but knowing that the lord is there even in prison, has calmed some, and given comfort to the loneliest ones.

  • tom jeffs

    12/26/2018 10:42 AM

    FED CHAIR HERMAN CAIN - - - - - - -

    WHEN ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

  • Dorothy Gavin

    12/26/2018 10:20 AM

    Since my son was first a city Police Officer, then a State Police man and now in security for the feds, I have a tender spot for Police Officers and I know the seriousness they take for the job they do . Their good stories are not spread often enough and the credit they should receive is not nearly spoken enough. Thank you Officers for taking a burden where the criminal seems to get more mentions then the heroes. God Bless you and your family for all the missed Holidays and the pain the families go through at loss.

  • Stephen Russell

    12/26/2018 08:45 AM

    Every city PD. Sheriff should do similar a Santa Patrol to give gifts.
    One story I saw on CBN, cops gave gifts vs tickets to public.
    Story ran on 700 Club Tues.