Members of the North Bend (OR) Police Department voted to cancel their police officers union Christmas party so they could instead use the funds to buy gifts for a family in need, the chief posted to Facebook.
Members of the agency brought a Christmas tree to "a wonderful woman not only cared for two toddlers, but recently accepted four more children into her home, who were displaced from their parents in California." The officers who delivered the tree connected with the woman as well as the newly transplanted children, who had previously had only negative interactions with law enforcement. When they found out that the woman didn't have the money to buy gifts for any of the children, they decided to ask members of their union to help out the family.
Chief Robert F. Kappelman sent a letter of thanks to every involved officer, which he posted on Facebook. It said, in part:
"You and your members canceled the NBPOA Annual Family Christmas Party and diverted those funds to provide more than $1,000 of gifts to this family. These were not public funds, they came from your own pockets. And today, on Christmas Eve, you delivered beautifully wrapped gifts (as 'friends of Santa') to children, who no doubt will remember this Christmas forever.
"Your choice to take from your own savings…to cancel your own holiday celebration… in order to provide for a family you didn’t even know…is a testament to the person you are. I am both proud and humbled that this city is served by such caring people…people who know how to police with a heart."