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Public can help brighten children's faces this Christmas


(Updated Dec. 16, 8:11 p.m.) 
Toy donation deadline is Dec. 19

The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office Santa Cops program has returned to the county for its fourth year, noted Sheriff Chris Bowman.

Santa Cops provides toys for children of inmates who are confined in the Alexander County Detention Center over the Christmas holiday.

The Santa Cops program was begun in 2008 by Captain Michael Harrison. It was a community project that he designed for the Conover Police Department. Harrison’s idea was to help local families in need. His goal was to help children, who may not otherwise receive gifts, have a memorable Christmas. In 2009, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office modified Santa Cops in order to serve children who have a parent, or parents, in custody over the Christmas Holidays.

The new Alexander County jail has a population of over 100 inmates, on average, each day. Inmates’ children are among the overlooked victims of crime through no fault of their own, the Captain stated.

“The main idea is for officers to interact with kids and let them know we’re not the bad guys,” said Harrison.

Uniformed officers will deliver gifts to the inmates’ children on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Over 30 children of inmates have been signed up for the program, said Sheriff Bowman.

Those desiring to donate items may donate new, unopened toys for boys and girls ages birth to 16 years of age to Santa Cops collection locations in the following areas:

  • Alexander County Law Enforcement Center lobby, located at 91 Commercial Park Avenue, Taylorsville, 24 hours;
  • Alexander County Courthouse, downstairs lobby, at 29 West Main Avenue in Taylorsville, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
  • Fred’s store in Bethlehem, on NC 127; during store hours.
  • Family Dollar store in Hiddenite; during store hours.
  • Stony Point Volunteer Fire Department, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Although toy donations are preferred, donations of wrapping paper, tape, thank you cards, and similar items are accepted, said Harrison.

The deadline for donations is Friday, December 19. For more information, call the Alexander County Sheriff's Office at 828-632-1111.


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