TYLER, TX (KLTV) - ETX law enforcement stepped up for a few lucky children Tuesday night to give them a Merry Christmas.
First responders from all over East Texas made their way to Walmart on Troup Highway and took 100 children on a shopping spree.
It's called Blue Santa and the departments participate in the event every single year. Blue Santa is a program where peace officers take underprivileged kids and abused children shopping for Christmas.
According to the Blue Santa Facebook page, The East Texas Regional Fraternal Order of Police was formed in 1996. Today with over 170 members it is one of East Texas premier law enforcement organizations. Members consist of officers from the Tyler police department, Smith County deputy sheriffs, Smith County Constables, T.I.S.D, T.J.C. D.P.S., City Marshall's, U.S. Marshall's, Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens and the D.E.A.
The Longview Police Department posted on their webpage, "In the course of a police officers' routine work we often encounter children in circumstances and environments that are heartbreaking. Many of the children that police interact with only know Christmas as nothing more than a school holiday. Many of these kids are in single-parent homes or family environments that are unstable. Many families must choose between gifts and basic utility needs or food, leaving little resources for presents at Christmas time for their children. Regardless of the whys, all children deserve presents at Christmas."
Tyler Police, Whitehouse Police, The Smith County Sheriff's Office, and others across East Texas participated in the event.