Miami-Dade Police Officers Deliver Early Christmas Cheer

Any police officer can tell you about the "extended family" of law enforcement. Those who wear the uniform come to the aid of their fellow officers in need.

That's why a group from Miami drove more than 700 miles to deliver some early Christmas cheer in Harrison County on Monday.

Police officers from Miami-Dade gave Santa a hand this year, delivering toys to the children of local law enforcement families.

They came, not from the North Pole, but from sunny South Florida. The resulting smiles made the 14 hour trip more than worthwhile.

"We're supposed to serve. And this is our way of giving back. Not just on calls, where you just get there and take the crime report, but actually look into the eyes of the kids and families and say yes, we do care," said toy drive volunteer, Dan Howard.

Bringing a bag of Christmas cheer is so much more pleasant than serving a warrant.

"Ho, Ho, Ho," said the officer wearing the familair red and white suit.

"Merry Christmas! " he told the children at each home.

The South Florida officers deliver more than five thousand toys each year to children in the Miami area. And they found the same size smiles during the special delivery in South Mississippi.

"That's the reaction we look for. There's nothing better than having a kid absolutely go nuts over the toys he's been given," said Steve Feldstein, after watching a youngster nearly burst with excitement.

"You want presents? Well, I think I've got something in here for you," said Santa's helper.

"How about a baby doll for you?"

The visiting Miami officers saw the storm destruction, but they'll more likely remember the smiles of children.

And the children may remember the year of the hurricane, when Christmas came early.