LANCASTER – Sheriff’s deputies will put away the handcuffs to play Santa Claus this year. In the days before Christmas, the deputies will be knocking on doors and delivering shiny new bicycles with matching helmets to needy families across the Antelope Valley, officials announced Wednesday.
“We’ve got bikes for 2 and 3-year-olds all the way up to adults,” said Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Captain Bob Jonsen. “We’ll make sure they get to the families that need them most.”
The special deliveries come courtesy of the Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Boosters Club, which worked with several organizations over the past year to make the project happen.
“When the community comes together, this is what you get from it,” said AV Sheriff’s Boosters President Marvin Crist.
Crist said Walmart donated a little over 200 new bicycles that were unsellable due to missing parts, such as a pedal or a seat.
The Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Boosters, with the help of Cullen Insurance and Bekins Moving and Storage, purchased the necessary parts and worked to refurbish the bicycles.
The group then partnered with several area churches and faith based organizations to identify families throughout the Valley in need of help for the holidays. Deputies from both Lancaster and Palmdale Sheriff’s Stations volunteered to help deliver the bicycles to those families in time for Christmas.
“Presenting these bikes to the youth of the Antelope Valley is certainly a huge Christmas gift to all those that generally can’t afford it,” said Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Captain Bobby Denham.
The project also got a helping hand from the Law Offices of R. Rex Parris, which provided a new helmet for every bicycle.
“This is going to be an incredible gift for the families that are frequenting the Wellness Homes and Neighborhood Impact Homes,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “It’s going to make a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives.”
Organizers hope the special deliveries will also make a huge difference in the community’s perception of law enforcement.
“We put our sheriffs in bad situations sometimes where they have to take mom and dad to jail,” Crist said. “We want to make sure the kids see the sheriffs for what they truly are – really good people.”