Public safety personnel frequently pitch in to help community programs that benefit youth. This year, the efforts of the Whitman Police and Fire departments to assist the Whitman Area Toy Drive reached new levels of success — filling seven cruisers and two ambulances with toys, clothing, sporting goods and other items frequently found on kids’ wish lists for Santa Claus.
The Jolly Old Elf was also on hand, and provided assistance to the police officers, who managed to arrest and book the Grinch on charges he tried to steal Christmas.
Both characters appeared through the generosity of the Amleida Family, said Whitman’s Deputy Chief of Police Joseph Bombardier.
The collection’s success brought kudos from Town Administrator Lincoln Heineman during the Tuesday, Dec. 21 meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
“I just want to trumpet a little bit the great work of our public safety officials — Police Department, police staff — as part of the Whitman Area Toy Drive,” he said. “It was the most successful year yet, according to the organizers.”
For adults’ holiday celebrations, the Board of Selectmen also voted to approve extending the hours under clubs and Common Victualers’ licenses to permit bars and restaurants included to stay open until 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
In Hanson, that police department also filled seven cruisers on Dec. 4, in a toy drive benefitting the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program, according to officer Derek Harrington.
“We truly want to extend our thanks to the entire community for their generosity at this years toy drive,” Harrington said. Our community conference room was filled entirely by the toys donated.”