Police officers in Bend, Oregon didn’t just ignore the children after a father was arrested on drug charges shortly before Christmas. In fact, they went out of their way to make it possible for the three kids to enjoy some gifts during the holiday.
After deputies approached the man who had been trafficking in street level quantities of methamphetamine, he attempted to flee on foot but was arrested. Detectives learned that his 12-year-old son had been left in the car at the Dairy Queen–and that the 38-year-old also had two younger children at home.
Child Welfare services arrived at the scene to help the boy and officials pieced together the sad story of a family living “under hardship”. Rather than walking away after dropping off the children with extended family members, the drug enforcement detectives got to work like busy elves at the North Pole.
They reached out to the ‘Shop with a Cop’ program for assistance, and started collecting their own personal funds to buy all three children presents for the holidays. The gifts were delivered to the children on Christmas Eve by the detectives, along with a grocery gift card for the family who began caring for the kids.
Other angels in this story were the folks at Dairy Queen, who provided the 12-year-old free ice cream during the long arrest procedure and the Food for Less company, which donated the gift certificate for the holiday meal.
“Both businesses showed the true meaning of the holiday season, making sure all these children were taken care of,” said Lieutenant Clint Burleigh of the Bend Police Department.
The ‘Shop with a Cop’ program, now in its fifteenth year, helps make the holidays a little brighter for less-fortunate families and the families of those incarcerated.
“This is another example of our community coming together, making a difficult situation easier to navigate through,” added Burleigh. “With the thoughtfulness of these detectives, the businesses involved and the resources we have come to depend on, we have captured the true spirit of community.”
(Photo: Shop With A Cop)