Lodi Police Officers Fill the B.A.T.T.

Photo courtesy of the Lodi Police Department

Photo courtesy of the Lodi Police Department

If you were at Walmart this weekend and wondered what the two police cars and the large armoured police vehicle were doing there, that was the Lodi Police Department out for their annual “Fill the B.A.T.T.” event. The department takes their B.A.T.T. (their ballistic armoured vehicle) out to Walmart, parks it right by the front doors, and starts collecting Christmas presents for the Salvation Army. Their goal: make Christmas special for everyone.

Officers were scheduled to be out at Walmart from 1:00PM until 6:00PM, but already by 2:00 that thing was already almost packed. And it wasn’t just packed with cheap gifts. “We’re accepting donations, toys, and we’re going to be donating them to the Salvation Army later this evening.” said one of the officers. “We’ve been doing this for 4 or 5 years,” chimed in another officer. “We wanted to help the community. It’s something that’s needed and another way we can help.” “This is my first year being out here,” said the first officer. “And the community has been really generous.” She wasn’t exaggerating. Not only was the vehicle nearly full within in an hour of the event starting, there were some pretty big ticket items in the truck, including bikes. One couple walked up to donate two bikes! It occurred to me in that moment, as I was looking at that truck already almost completely filled with toys, and as that couple walked up with the bikes, how special it is that the officers came out with this event to support the Salvation Army. Americans, and especially people in Lodi, have a huge amount of respect for Police Officers. We love our men and women in uniform who help keep us safe. For our officers to use that level of prestige to support the Salvation Army is a really wonderful thing. I’m not sure too many other organizations could have inspired people to make an impulse purchase like two kids bikes the way the Lodi Police Department was able to do this weekend at Walmart.

There’s lots of people who have a tradition of pulling together this time of year to make sure kids have a great Christmas. Thank you to our local police officers who are also out, using their influence for good, and making sure the Salvation Army can make Christmas special for everyone.