The Casper Police Department has been giving Santa a run for his money.
That’s because an anonymous benefactor has made it his business to make Christmas a little brighter for folks around town.
It all began last year when this secret donor told the police he wanted them to distribute $2000 in $100 increments to those in need for Christmas.
“He wanted law enforcement to do it,” said Captain Steve Freel, “because he felt police officers weren’t always seen in the best light.”
Well, it was such a success, the mystery Santa was back again this year, with $12,000 to give away.
And that is what the Casper PD has been doing. Whether it was a traffic stop that turned out much better than the driver expected, or simply walking up to people who look like they could use a little help for the holidays. This year, officers gave away $200 at a time. And as grateful as the recipients were, it affected the officers as well.
“You know whenever there is a new program in the department, a lot of officers aren’t too eager to just jump in,” Freel told us, “but with this it was different. I had officers come back and ask for more cards to hand out because they loved the reaction people had.”
And, with the oil industry in rough shape at the moment, Freel said that this is an especially good year for this program.
“Well, with the economy down, and some people having a tough time with Christmas, it was nice to be able to help, and frankly it did wonders for us as well.”
He also assured us, this won’t stop here. It will be a yearly event.