LASD Transit Deputies, Fare Inspectors Brighten Christmas for Sick, Injured Children
Children unable to spend Christmas at home receive visit from LA County Sheriff's Deputies
December 25, 2016
LA County Sheriff's Transit Bureau North Captain Jennifer Bateman was joined by Jolly Ole' Saint Nick and his Elves to bring a little joy to the children at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Pediatric wards on Thursday December 22, 2016. Transit Bureau North is part of the Sheriff's Transit Policing Division that provides police services to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) buses, trains, and properties. Many of the families of the children hospitalized at Kaiser Permanente use Metro to get to and from work, school, or their doctors' appointments.
Long time Sheriff's Security Assistant/Fare Inspector Maria Carlin, led the effort to get as many toy donations as possible. This is the second year in what's becoming an annual tradition with the Deputies and Professional Staff at the Transit Bureau North, to hand out toys and gifts on the pediatric wards of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center located on the iconic Sunset Boulevard. Misti Lindquist, who coordinates quality of pediatric patient care for the medical center, has been very receptive to the Sheriff's participation due to the large number of children that have to spend the holidays hospitalized.
Support for the toy drive by Transit Bureau North personnel was overwhelming, with hundreds of toys and gifts collected, but how to distribute them? Enter Santa, who was actually Central Operations Bureau Trainee Deputy Michael Cortez dressed as Santa Claus. (see attached photos) The children and their parents lit up as Santa and his Elves would enter their rooms with a believable "Ho-Ho-Ho Merry Christmas". Medical Center staff and Transit Sheriff's personnel alike were visibly moved by the reactions of the children. Some who had not had a reason to smile in a long time.
Transit Bureau North Captain Jennifer Bateman, who brought her own daughters to help share the spirit of the season, was also touched by the outpouring of gratitude. "We've been involved with Kaiser Permanente for several years now and appreciate the opportunity they give us to bring some joy to the children and their families that have to spend the holidays in the Medical Center. Although It's our primary business to keep Metro patrons safe when they ride the buses and trains, it's a very special feeling when we can make even one kid smile and hopefully forget where they are and why they're there. I'm so proud of my staff and how they've given so much of themselves without hesitation. We are all truly part of the community today!"
So many toys and gifts had been collected by Transit Bureau North personnel, that there was enough left to donate to the Sheriff's "Stuff a Chopper" Challenge, where Transit Bureau North's toys, along with donations from the rest of the department and community filled more than 3 Sheriff's Helicopters, including 2 of the Super Puma Helicopters used as the Sheriff's Department Air Rescue 5. These helicopters are almost twice the size of a normal police "chopper." CHALLENGE COMPLETED!!!
You can donate to help improve the lives of children year round. Visit http://www.sheriffsyouthfoundation.org and find out how to support the many worthy causes the Sheriff's Department partners with to help shape the lives of tomorrow leaders.
Written by Ramon Montenegro, L.E.T.
Transit Policing Division – Public Information Officer, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department