Levelland PD kicks off Blue Santa program, engaging with youth

Published: Dec. 18, 2021 at 7:02 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - During the last 13 years, “Santa Cops” has proven to be a tremendous success in Lubbock. It’s a program that allows officers within the Lubbock Police Department to interact with kids and provide them with the best Christmas experience possible.

Thirty miles to the west, Levelland PD has taken notice. Saturday morning, officers debuted a similar initiative, known as “Blue Santa”.

“This has been in the works for some time now,” said Levelland PD’s chief Albert Garcia. “Back in March, we developed a 501(c)3 called ‘Blue & You.’ The proceeds that we’ve been able to receive from that ‘Blue & You’ program have all gone right back into our community, and so this is one of the programs that we’ve decided to do with this program.”

For the kids in Hockley County, the morning included breakfast at McDonald’s followed by a shopping trip to Walmart.

“Our kids need to understand that we’re there for them and were here to assist them in whatever way we can. They can reach out to us when they see the uniform, they see the badge, they can come up to us, they don’t have to be scared of us. They can realize that we’re there to help them,” Chief Garcia said. “As this program continues to grow, I’m sure we’ll have other programs or other businesses that will actually start to participate next year.”

While “Blue Santa” is still in its infancy, Garcia says he not only looks forward to 2022, but wants it to grow into a community staple from here on out. For the Levelland Police Department, days like Saturday are a much-welcomed sight - especially after a challenging summer, which included a standoff where Lubbock County Sgt. Joshua Bartlett died.

“We’ve had such a tough year this year, and the last couple of years have been tough on everybody with Covid,” he said. “And, we had an incident that occurred back in July that just took us to our knees, and so having something like this and doing something like this with our community is fantastic and shows our community how much we love them.”

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