By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Santa patrol pairs police, youngsters

Starla Pointer / News-Register##
Abigail Wheeler, 6, tells Santa about herself when they meet on Monroe Street in Carlton. Police Chief Kevin Martinez, center, reminded kids that Santa wants them to do nice things for others.
Starla Pointer / News-Register## Abigail Wheeler, 6, tells Santa about herself when they meet on Monroe Street in Carlton. Police Chief Kevin Martinez, center, reminded kids that Santa wants them to do nice things for others.
Starla Pointer/News-Register##
Santa and Carlton police officers pause to shoot hoops with youngsters during their holiday patrol. Outscoring Santa means you ll receive coal in your stocking, the man in the red suit joked.
Starla Pointer/News-Register## Santa and Carlton police officers pause to shoot hoops with youngsters during their holiday patrol. Outscoring Santa means you'll receive coal in your stocking, the man in the red suit joked.
Starla Pointer/News-Register##
Santa hands stuffed animals to Elizabeth Hetzler and Katelyn Jacobs during the Carlton police department s holiday patrol. Officer drove around town meeting kids on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Starla Pointer/News-Register## Santa hands stuffed animals to Elizabeth Hetzler and Katelyn Jacobs during the Carlton police department's holiday patrol. Officer drove around town meeting kids on Saturday, Dec. 16.

CARLTON -- Santa joined Carlton police officers on their annual holiday patrol Saturday, Dec. 16.

Chief Kevin Martinez and Officer Tim Jordan cruised Carlton’s streets with Christy Martinez, city finance director, Santa, and his helper, Bill Kolb.

They distributed stuffed toys and candy, as they’ve done annually since Martinez became chief in 2012. The activity is part of the police department’s efforts to establish positive relationships with community members, he said.

While the friendly police officers always earn smiles from children and parents, Santa’s presence generated extra excitement this year. Youngsters’ mouths dropped open; they squealed with delight and giggled as they threw their arms around him.

Martinez told each child that Santa had a special request for them: Do something nice for someone else. Kids promised — and some regaled the Christmas patrol with stories about nice things they already do.

In addition to the gifts for children, officers handed out vouchers to assist several residents with water bills. This is the second year that anonymous donors have made the help possible.

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