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Santa joins police chief today to give gifts to kids
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Santa Claus is apparently making a few stops in Lathrop this year. 

After popping up at the annual Lathrop Christmas Parade earlier this month, the man in the red suit will again reappear today at the Lathrop Generations Center – located at 450 Spartan Way – at 5 p.m. for Lathrop Police Service’s annual “Cocoa with the Chief” event. 

According to Lathrop Police Community Resource Officer Jefferson Dominguez, Santa will be on hand tonight to hand out presents to young children who want to come down and participate in the meet-and-greet session that helps bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement. 

“It’s a chance for us to get to meet the public face-to-face and have the positive interaction so that if we ever end up having to visit them on what is not their best day, we shared that personal moment and there’s that past experience,” Dominguez said. “A lot of times we’re looked as the bad guys, but this shows that we’re human beings as well and you get to know the people on the other side of the badge and the gun. 

“We want people to be able to come up to us and greet us and say hello, and this is something that helps make that possible.”

A Christmas continuation of the ongoing “Coffee with the Chief” program, the event will give relatively new Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann the opportunity to get to know the community that he now helms – one which he served earlier in his career before being named as the next chief by the city council earlier this year. 

With presents donated by the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program and students form Lathrop High School, Santa Claus will be handing out presents to young children who attend in addition to cookies and hot chocolate that will also be served. 

The event is open to the public, and all in the community are encouraged to attend. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.