CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A Chicago police motorcade left Macy’s on State Street Saturday morning loaded with gifts for the department’s annual Operation Santa, in which police will deliver presents to the families of officers who were killed or badly injured while on duty.
Phil Cline, the Executive Director of the Police Memorial Foundation, which is conducting this year’s operation, said the volunteer officers taking part get more out of this event than the families they visit.
“This is a tough time of the year for police families,” Cline said. “They’ve lost their husband or wife, and they go to the table with their family, and there’s empty spots. If we can bring a little joy to those families, especially the children, that’s what it’s all about.”
The weekend’s event marked the 15th consecutive year that police have conducted Operation Santa.
“This is about our Gold Star families today, particularly their kids, who are missing their loved ones,” said Chicago Police Supt. David Brown. “They understand the sacrifice, but it still hurts, and it really is a very wholesome, uplifting event.”
Brown said it’s important that police show up for the families.
“Some of the families think you forget, when nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
On Day One of the two-day Operation Santa, Chicago police will visit 25 children.
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