Schoolchildren spend “Christmas with a Cop” at event hosted by University Police
Yvonne Rhodes | December 20, 2018
Dozens of children from San Marcos elementary schools gathered at the Texas State University Police Department December 18 with their families for the chance to meet local firefighters, police officers, and of course, Santa Claus, who made a special appearance bearing gifts.
This is the sixteenth year UPD has hosted the event, known as “Christmas with a Cop.” Fourteen San Marcos children won a drawing contest to be invited to attend, most of whom brought along their siblings, who also received toys from Santa – with a little help from the University Police Department.
According to the police, the goal of the event is to have a positive interaction with young children from the community.
“Most kids, especially Kindergarteners and first and second graders, if they’ve been exposed to the police it has been during a traffic stop or in their residence, which is usually not the most pleasant interaction,” said Sergeant Chris Cost of the University Police Department. “Christmas with a Cop gives them the opportunity to engage with us in a positive environment.”
Weeks before Christmas, the police coordinated a drawing contest with all the elementary schools in the district. The schools asked the children to draw a picture of “what they think it would be like to spend Christmas with a cop.”
When the contest winners arrived at the event, they were greeted by San Marcos Fire Department firefighters and boarded a fire truck with its lights flashing. The children also climbed in officers’ patrol cars and played with the sirens. Santa Claus made his grand entrance, escorted by a University Police officer, greeted with cheers and hugs from the children. One-by-one, the children opened gifts from Santa.
“The best thing about the event is the smiles on the kids’ faces. When they come in and see the police officers, some are a little apprehensive at first, but by the time they leave they’re giving our officers hugs and high fives,” said Sergeant Chris Cost.
Each child received 3 or 4 gifts purchased with funds donated by Frost Bank and First Lockhart National Bank.
“We couldn’t do this without the support of our sponsors. We are grateful for their generosity,” Sergeant Cost added.