On December 8th, officers from the University of Maryland Police Department, along with officers from many neighboring police agencies will be participating in "Operation Santa with a Badge", a program developed by Sgt. Michael Rudinski of the Hyattsville City Police Department in 2003. This year, police officers from many local agencies will pick up children in less-fortunate families from around their respective jurisdictions in police cars and take them holiday shopping.
Money is raised by the different police agencies, taking collections from local businesses, civic organizations and individual officers. Officers drive the kids to the Prince George's Plaza mall in their police cruisers with the lights and sirens activated. This is very exciting for the children.
"This is such a wonderful way our police officers can help make the holiday season just that much more special for a young boy or girl. It is so heartwarming to be a part of this event," stated David B. Mitchell, Chief of Police.