By  //  December 13, 2012

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Operation Reindeer Run Assists Needy Children

BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Dozens of Palm Bay Police officers and employees with assistance from the Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Department, Sebastian Police Department and West Melbourne Police Department are answering a different call for service Thursday when they escort nearly 100 children through the aisles of Wal-Mart for a unique Christmas shopping experience dubbed Operation Reindeer Run. 

More than 100 needy children were able to obtain toys from their Christmas wish list on Thursday in “Operation Reindeer Run” thanks to officers from the Palm Bay Police Department, the Sebastian Police Department and the West Melbourne Police Department. (Shutterstock image)

The event begins with breakfast provided by Golden Corral followed by the arrival of some “special guests” including Santa and some of his friends.

Following breakfast, police officers and department employees will escort the children through Wal-Mart as they each have a $75 gift card to purchase anything on their Christmas wish list.

The children were selected through a partnership with the local schools and they were identified as being most worthy of the program.

The funding for the Reindeer Run is through use of the Law Enforcement Trust Fund which is money acquired through the forfeited assets of criminals.

Doug Muldoon is Police Chief for the Palm Bay Police Department. (Image courtesy Palm Bay Police Department)

Wal-Mart also donated $2,000 to help purchase the gift cards.

The law requires a percentage of those funds be used for community programs such as the Reindeer Run.

“It’s all about making a positive difference in the lives of as many children as possible,” said Palm Bay Police Chief Doug Muldoon.  “It is extremely rewarding for us when we see the smiles on their faces.”

The Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Department helped to escort Santa and Mrs. Claus on one of its engines along with other special characters to assist in making the children’s Christmas brighter.