Fort Lauderdale Police Officers Conduct "Santa Stop": Give People Food, Toys for Christmas

With Christmas just a few days away, thoughts turn to peace on Earth and being in the company of loved ones.

Unfortunately, while some people busy themselves baking cookies and doing last-minute shopping, families are mourning the deaths of New York Police Department Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were killed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley in what was dubbed by Fox News as "retaliation for the slayings of black men at the hands of white police." On the other side of this tragic coin, communities are still reeling and protesting the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both at the hands of police officers.

But if there ever was a time for healing, compassion, and brotherhood, it's during the holidays.

Fort Lauderdale Police officers decided to spread some holiday cheer and goodwill throughout the city recently by conducting what they're calling "Operation Santa Stop."

As police officers randomly stop people in their cars, they ask questions like, "Do you have your holiday shopping done?" and "How many children do you have?" while other officers are busy shopping at nearby stores. The result?

People who anticipate a traffic ticket are instead gifted with Publix gift cards and toys, courtesy of the FLPD. According to detective DeAmma Greenlaw from the FLPD's office of the chief media relations, the operation was conducted during the course of one single, magical day this year, and "the funds used to sponsor this operation came strictly

from funds collected by members of the Fraternal Order of Police."

Watch the video, which includes many teddy bears and hugs (but no speeding tickets). Looks like Santa's got a place on the force!

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss