ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix police officers carry on with nearly 30-year-old holiday giving tradition

Dec 20, 2016, 4:30 PM
(KTAR Photo/Kathy Cline)...
(KTAR Photo/Kathy Cline)
(KTAR Photo/Kathy Cline)

PHOENIX — Wednesday marked the 27th anniversary of a special holiday tradition carried out by Phoenix Police Department officers.

Residents of Hacienda de Los Angeles – located near South Mountain Park – were given some holiday gifts, courtesy of the officers.

Arlin Acosta with the facility said the tradition is the highlight of the year for many residents, some of whom can neither speak nor walk.

“They don’t use words, like you and I,” she said. “But, when their face lights up and they get excited and they start laughing or clapping, we know they’re enjoying every moment of this event.”

The Hacienda celebration began in 1989 after a fire at the facility gutted a building. Phoenix Police Sgt. Vincent Lewis said the responding officers and firefighters noticed the residents’ Christmas wasn’t going to happen that year because of the blaze.

They decided to do something about it.

“[The first responders] pooled their resources,” Lewis said. “They bought gifts and donations and so forth.”

Ever since, the South Mountain Precinct has carried on with the annual event. The officers escort “Blue Santa” via motorcade to Hacienda, where officers pass out gifts to every resident.

Even those who can’t speak show their joy.

“When the residents start laughing – especially when it’s an individual who’s non-verbal – that, without fail, brings tears to my eyes,” Acosta said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Right Side Broadcasting Network Screenshot Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake again bashes ‘McCain machine’ during CPAC appearance

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake continued her affront of John McCain during the Conservative Political Action Conference summit in Dallas on Saturday.
12 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)...
KTAR.com

Thunderstorms possibilities in the metro Phoenix forecast throughout the week

Another set of storms are expected to pass through metro Phoenix this week, with the greatest chances of rain forecast for Tuesday.
12 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Most political campaign signs in metro Phoenix to be removed by next week

Tired of seeing political campaign signs around metro Phoenix? Well, most of them have to be gone soon.
12 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Department of Public Safety)...
KTAR.com

Man arrested in Arizona after traffic stop leads to over 26 pounds of fentanyl

A 53-year-old man was arrested last month after authorities discovered over 26 pounds of fentanyl in his truck during a traffic stop in northern Arizona.
12 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@PhoenixPolice)...
KTAR.com

Police search for 5-month-old taken from Phoenix foster home by biological mother

Police are looking for a 5-month-old girl who was taken from a foster home in Phoenix by her biological mother, authorities said. 
12 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 72-year-old man with dementia last seen in Chandler

A Silver Alert was issued for a 72-year-old man diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's disease who was last seen in Chandler on Saturday.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Phoenix police officers carry on with nearly 30-year-old holiday giving tradition