The spirit of Christmas

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It’s no secret to regular readers of this page that the Suffolk News-Herald is a big fan of the city’s law enforcement officers. The vast majority of those officers — whether from the police department, the sheriff’s office, the regional jail staff or other agencies — are highly professional people who have great compassion for the people they are called to serve and protect, and Suffolk is a better place for their efforts.

But a couple of special events during the past week or so show just how far those officers are willing to go to improve their community, even outside of their normal range of duties.

On Monday, members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 41 made the rounds to give away 41 baskets of food to indigent families in Suffolk and Isle of Wight.

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The officers shopped at Farm Fresh, which helped with discounts for some of the food, and then delivered the baskets to families that had been nominated by Social Services, the Western Tidewater Community Services Board, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office and members who knew of people in need.

A sister program promoted by the lodge, Cops and Kids, gives local children a chance to shop for Christmas presents with law enforcement officers.

It’s good to know that dozens of families in Suffolk and Isle of Wight will have a better Christmas because of these officers — both active duty and retired — who have a heart for their less fortunate neighbors. That’s truly the spirit of Christmas.