A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Sleigh Bells & Sirens: Covington Police take kids Christmas shopping in cruisers, then to a pizza party

Santa delivered presents early to some lucky kids in Covington, as part of the city police department’s “Sleigh Bells & Sirens” program.

Covington Detective Sarah Lusardi, organizer of the Sleigh Bells and Sirens event, with one of the children (provided photo).

Public school administrators identified some disadvantaged kids who are especially deserving because they have passed Santa’s “naughty or nice” test.

Police officers showed up at school in their cruisers to take the kids shopping for family presents. Then, they all meet at the Center for Great Neighborhoods for a gift-wrapping party that includes pizza, cookies and a surprise visit from Santa, who gave each child a present of their own.

“During the first few years of the program, we found out the kids weren’t buying anything for themselves,” said organizer Sarah Lusardi, a Covington Police detective. “Every year, we have kids say it’s the best day of their lives.”

When officers learned that the family of one boy had never been able to afford to celebrate Christmas, they decorated a tree at his home while he was out buying gifts.

The presents and party are paid for by the Covington Fraternal Order of Police and with donations from the community.  This year, students at Glenn O. Swing Elementary contributed $615 from a “Crafts With Cops” fundraiser they held two weeks ago.

All of the officers volunteer their time.

“It’s very rewarding for the officers,” Lusardi said. “They have a great time.”

Covington Police Department

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