Cops and Santa bring holiday cheer caravan to High Desert hospitals

·3 min read
The 2nd annual Inland Empire Holiday Cheer caravan included Santa Claus and multiple law enforcement agencies visiting hospitals across the IE and High Desert.
The 2nd annual Inland Empire Holiday Cheer caravan included Santa Claus and multiple law enforcement agencies visiting hospitals across the IE and High Desert.
The 2nd annual Inland Empire Holiday Cheer caravan included Santa Claus and multiple law enforcement agencies visiting hospitals across the IE and High Desert.
The 2nd annual Inland Empire Holiday Cheer caravan included Santa Claus and multiple law enforcement agencies visiting hospitals across the IE and High Desert.

With flashing lights and blaring sirens, a vehicle caravan of law enforcement officials and Santa Claus brought some holiday cheer to hospitals in the High Desert.

The 2nd annual Inland Empire Holiday Cheer caravan on Monday first arrived at Desert Valley Hospital then Victor Valley Global Medical Center — both located in Victorville — before heading to Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley.

Monday’s drive-through caravan was part one of a two-day event, where law enforcement agencies from San Bernardino and Riverside counties will parade simultaneously in their prospective areas, according to the SBC Sheriff’s Department.

“We hope to spread as much cheer to doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff who, over the last two years, have worked around the clock to keep the community safe; a mission law enforcement shares,” sheriff’s officials said.

At VVGMC and St. Mary, a Daily Press reporter watched as hospital staff and visitors waved to the passing caravan, including Santa Claus in his sleigh-trailer and vehicles from the SBC Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Chino, and Colton police departments.

“We're so thankful to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department for taking the time to honor our caregivers during the holiday season,” St.Mary spokesman Matt Cabe told the Daily Press. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain our staff, and the caravan was a welcome reminder that their tireless work doesn't go unnoticed in the community."

The 2nd annual Inland Empire Holiday Cheer caravan included Santa Claus and multiple law enforcement agencies visiting hospitals across the IE and High Desert.
The 2nd annual Inland Empire Holiday Cheer caravan included Santa Claus and multiple law enforcement agencies visiting hospitals across the IE and High Desert.

“I’ve never seen this before, but it’s a pretty cool idea and a great way to show appreciation to the doctors and nurses who work here,” said Yolanda Gonzales, a visitor at St. Mary.

The “Kids, Cops and Santa Sleigh” was provided by the Chino Police Officers Association and event sponsors included the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the Sheriff’s Employee Benefits Association, and Stater Bros.

The caravan’s project coordinator is Colton Police Officer Rich Randolph, a 15-year veteran with the department and Colton High School’s resource officer.

Over the years, Randolph has organized caravans of officers to deliver toys to children at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Also, delivering toys, food, and gift cards to families in the community who have experienced a tragic loss, according to the CHS Pepper Bough.

This year’s holiday cheer caravan is a coordinated effort of over 25 law enforcement agencies at county, local, state, and federal levels, who will travel a total of over 300 miles to 30 hospitals.

The event is one of the most significant events involving San Bernardino and Riverside County.

“The past two years have been unprecedented and difficult, not only in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties but across our nation,” SBC Sheriff’s Corporal Danny Garcia told the Daily Press in a written statement. “Like law enforcement, our health care workers have been in the forefront of the pandemic. It is the least we can do to show our appreciation and support for their sacrifices and dedication in keeping our communities safe.”

The Inland Empire caravan will continue Tuesday and make a final stop at Loma Linda University Hospital.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Cops and Santa bring holiday cheer caravan to High Desert hospitals

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