NEW BEDFORD - Even Ebenezer Scrooge will have to warm up to Christmas following this event.

The New Bedford Police Department held its annual “Presents with Police” event at the Dartmouth Target on Saturday morning. At 9:00 a.m. they met about 100 disadvantaged children from the area to provide them with a special shopping trip to ensure they'll have presents under the tree this year.

The children arrived from Keith Middle School by bus to a long line of New Bedford officers standing outside of the store's entrance. Once inside, each officer was paired up with a small group of children to assist them in purchasing Christmas presents for themselves and their families with a Target gift card.

“This is an incredible event for the kids, but I honestly think it's more incredible for the police officers,” Chief of Police Joseph Cordeiro said. “It just really builds up that empathy you have for these beautiful little people, so it's really touching.”

Children and officers were given about an hour to complete the Christmas shopping before checking out. They returned to Keith Middle School to wrap their gifts with the officers and to enjoy a pizza lunch donated by Busters Sports Bar and Grill.

Officer Bryant Capello participated on Saturday and spoke with WBSM News while waiting in line with his group of kids. He says that he and other officers involved in the event joined out of “pure generosity for the kids in need.”

“We want to make sure everybody has a great holiday,” Capello said. “The holiday season is coming around and we just want to give back the best way we can. Obviously as a police department it's a great way to give back to the children during the holiday season.”

In a press release, the New Bedford Police Department says that they “hope this event will make the season a little brighter for families in need and continue to strengthen the bonds between the department and the young people who are the future of our City of One.”

The event was made possible by financial contributions from the New Bedford Police Union, individual officers, Target, and local businesses.


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