Traffic Stop Santa In Anderson
Motorists in Anderson drove away from traffic stops with a smile last week during the second annual Traffic Stop Santa event. Law enforcement took to the streets on Wednesday with a trunk full of toys to issue gifts rather than tickets.
Officers were instructed to seek out vehicles with children in tow who may need a Christmas boost. Officer Aaron Lemon with
Anderson Police Department explained that LEO were instructed to stop vehicles for minor infractions, such as lane violations or defective equipment. Once stopped, officers were to speak with drivers to discover if the family needed Christmas assistance and what kind.
Parents and children alike were escorted to the patrol vehicles where they were encouraged to sort through more than a hundred donations to pick the perfect presents.
Area businesses and generous individuals contributed something for those of every age and interest — sports equipment, art supplies, puzzle games, remote control cars and gift cards to local establishments were up for grabs.
“Every single business I contacted for a donation contributed something,” said Police Chief Seth Daniels. “Every single one.”
Daniels began the Traffic Stop Santa program last year after participating in a similar community outreach in another town.
“I would say that it humanizes our profession,” Daniels said. “We are people too, just like everyone else. People sometimes see us as harassing Gestapo. Yes, we have a job to do, which includes upholding the law, but we care very dearly for our community — their safety, their welfare and their happiness.”
Seven-year old Stetson Curtis of Anderson grins ear to ear after choosing a Cars toy storage gift for himself and a gift for each of his brothers as well.
Young children weren’t the only individuals who were able to select Christmas presents, parents received the opportunity to secretly select Christmas gifts for the children in their lives.
Anderson Police Chief Seth Daniels helps two young children select gifts during the department’s second annual Traffic Stop Santa event on Wednesday, Dec. 20.