Dallas Police officers, families members, and volunteers from all divisions participated in the 32nd Annual Santa Cops program. Since 1984, the Dallas Police Department has provided assistance to members of the community by providing toys and food during the Christmas season.
In 1984, officers created and developed a program known as Santa Cops. The Santa Cops program has assisted over 10,000 families throughout the years and has been the topic of yearly news reports in the Dallas Morning News, the Police News and on local television stations. This project typically delivers the fruits of its efforts on the Saturday before Christmas to the citizens of Dallas.
A Santa Cops request form is completed by members of the department who have identified a family in need, mostly coming from Patrol Officers in the field. After all the forms have been submitted, the committee determines if the family meets the criteria of the program. Those that are selected, based on officer’s observations and comments, are prioritized by need. The next step is the best part of the process; watching the children’s faces when the officers bring the toys to their home.
The Santa Cops program was designed to assist members of the community who have been victims of crime and as a result of that act; they are unable to provide for their children during the holidays.
The part-time charity program typically receives about 500 requests for families each year. Those families usually have 3 or 4 children in need of toys and clothes. Some of the donations come from the Marines Toys for Tots and private citizens. Santa Cops strives to deliver a full Christmas to each child in an effort to fulfill their Christmas wishes.