Police Join Forces With Santa Claus, Doling Out Christmas Gifts to Community Members

Police, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas GiftsPolice, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas GiftsPolice, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas GiftsPolice, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas GiftsPolice, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas GiftsPolice, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas GiftsPolice, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas GiftsPolice, Salvation Army Hand Out Christmas Gifts

ARTHUR VILLASANTA | Photography by JAMES MACPHERSON

3:06 pm | December 22, 2014


The Pasadena Police Department and the Salvation Army joined forces Dec. 20 to give Christmas goft baskets to members of the community. Each year, the police department’s Community Services Section organizes this special program that brightens the holidays for families in our community.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said the idea of the annual gift giving is to build community trust and for both officers and community members to draw closer.

“We do that through knocking on people’s doors with Christmas presents and making sure they can have a blessed Christmas and be able share some of the cheer,” Sanchez said as families streamed past him into police headquarters.  “This is only part of what we do, day in and day out. We’re really about community involvement and getting to know our community.”

For his part, the Salvation Army’s Pat O. Riley said the point of the Salvation Army’s partnership with the police does is to “show the love of Jesus Christ”.

“The way it helps the community is it’s a win-win situation for everybody,” Riley said. “In my opinion, it puts a human face on the police department that’s very proactive in this city.”

He noted that on Thanksgiving Day “we had 27 off duty officers come and dole out food for the community.”

Pasadena Police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian in command of the Community Services Section said the unit is “primarily here to build bridges and positive relations with the community.”

The section has different processes to attain this aim such as an outreach team and neighborhood watch groups.