Officers delivering Christmas presents to Torrington children
TORRINGTON — The Torrington Police Department will be stepping in for Santa Claus this year, as the department plans to deliver toys Christmas morning.
Police Chief Tim Hurd said he started delivering toys on Christmas Day while working in Alabama.
“It had come to my attention, in the poverty-stricken area I worked when I first became a police chief years ago, that kids were not getting toys for Christmas,” he said. “I went and purchased a bunch of toys for all age groups and on Christmas morning got into my police car and went and delivered presents to kids we knew didn’t have anything.”
Hurd said the goal is to help families celebrate Christmas, whatever their financial status is.
“Maybe the parents got laid off, or maybe because the circumstances are that they need to put food on the table instead of presents,” he said. “I remember days when I didn’t have a lot and, coming up from that, I don’t want kids to experience that.”
The drive usually separates children into different age groups, with appropriate toys for boys and girls at each age. To find families, Hurd said he reached out to Goshen County School District, compiling a list of recommended families from principals and teachers. The police department has also gotten calls with recommendations for families to visit. Hurd said the number of families was just under 50.
The toys come from Toys for Tots out of Cheyenne, are bought by officers, or come through private donations. This year’s campaign proved unusually difficult, however, because of higher demand.
“I remembered from last year that we had some left over,” Hurd said. “(Chief Jason Hoppa) continued on the tradition that we started in Glenrock, he went down to Toys for Tots and he has enough, so the toys that we had extra from last year I asked if we could take from him. Chief Hoppa was nice enough to give us all the toys we had left over from last year.”
The toys are divided into age groups, ranging from newborns and toddlers up to 17-year-olds.
“We try to spend the same amount of money on each child, no matter what the age,” Hurd said.
Hurd said the deliveries will start on Christmas at around 7 a.m.
“We’d like to get everybody done before Santa gets back to the North Pole,” he said.
Hurd hopes that this year starts a tradition for the police department.
“It’ll continue for as long as I’m here,” he said, “and, hopefully, long after I’m gone.”