In a normal holiday season, the Prince William County Police Department sponsors "Santa Cops" a program where police officers take children, youth and young adults in foster care shopping for presents. During "Santa Ride" Santa visits county public elementary schools with the motorcycle unit.
With COVID-19, this year was different, and the programs were canceled. The department had to adjust.
The Police Department participated in the 2020 Christmas Project through the Prince William Department of Social Services, which provides services to roughly 120 foster care clients.
Units and squads across the Police Department raised $15,685 in gift cards to go to those in foster care.
"Some of the individuals have experienced abuse or neglect and are unable to reside in their own homes," said Prince William County Police Spokesman Jonathan Perok. "We thought this was most certainly a worthy case to support during any holiday season, but especially this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic."
The Police Department's Community Engagement Section spearheaded the effort.