SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Springfield’s Police Division’s Community Response Team (CRT) is giving back to local families by participating in two efforts, Operation Thanksgiving and Operation Santa.
“The holiday season is always a great time for our team to give back to families in need,” said Officer Thomas Selner, Coordinator of Operation Thanksgiving and Operation Santa. “I would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who participated in Operation Thanksgiving and Operation Santa,” Selner said.
In a release sent Friday, organizers said Operation Santa is in its 24th year. Each year, families are identified throughout Springfield that may need assistance during the Christmas holiday. Family referrals come from patrol officers, citizens and various organizations in the Springfield Community.
Once the families are identified, Officer Selner works with the high school students of Springfield High School and Shawnee High School and the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAAA) to buy and wrap the gifts.
“It’s important that all Springfield residents have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season,” said Chief of Police Lee Graf. “I would like to take this time to thank our officers, the
CPAAA community organizations and student volunteers for their generous contributions. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Officer Selner for coordinating these holiday programs. This would not be possible without him.”
The Christmas gifts will be delivered the week of Dec. 18 by Officer Selner, some of the division’s officers, CPAAA volunteers and the high school students.
Organizers said throughout the month of November, the division’s CRT coordinated the Springfield Police Division’s 26th annual Operation Thanksgiving. In support of the holiday programs, officers throughout the division participated in the No Shave-No Ties November program.
Officers could participate by donating $40 to receive a waiver from the division’s grooming standards and/or donating an additional $40 for a waiver from the division’s winter uniform seasonal requirement. Between both efforts, the division raised a total of $3,320.
The money raised was used to provide 11 families with Thanksgiving meals, with remaining funds going toward Operation Santa.