BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Men and women in uniform took part in a few Christmas traditions Friday to spread some holiday cheer for some of the smallest citizens they look after.
Deputies in Livingston Parish spent Friday morning delivering presents to families in need. For the better part of the year, the deputies collect toys to make sure children in the parish do no go without on Christmas.
Sheriff Jason Ard said this year, they were able to help 1,200 children. That equals about 600 families.
"God put us in these positions to be givers and to protect our community and serve them. This is part of that," said Ard.
Ard said the community the children see the bad, but this time of year the deputies want to show them some good. Starting at 7:45 a.m. they began loading up their squad cars with gifts.
"We really appreciate it," said one woman who received gifts for her three children.
Another mother said her children probably would have only had one or two gifts under the tree without help from LPSO.
In Baton Rouge, police officers escorted Santa in using one of their SWAT vehicles.
Chief Carl Dabadie said every year, the department picks a school to donate to. This year, 400 students at Bernard Terrace Elementary got to meet Santa and received a present from him.
"They get excited, they're all over the place," said the chief.
He said while the goal is to give the children something to smile about, they also want to show the young ones that law enforcement officers are friends and are there to help.