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Officers in Arkansas take a break from arrests and tickets to spread some holiday cheer

A Conway Police officer poses after delivering coats to families in need through their Coats and Cops program. (Photo: KATV)

Two Arkansas police departments took the week before Christmas to play Santa and bring some holiday cheer by giving back to their communities.

Roughly a dozen officers in Conway took a break from patrolling on Friday to deliver about 70 coats to kids without a winter jacket or one that old and worn. Latresha Woodruff, spokesperson for the Conway Police Department said a grant from Target enabled them to do the program they’ve dubbed “Cops and Coats”.

"People think of police officers as tough and they don't give you a break kind of folks," said Woodruff. "But these men and women love children."

Woodruff said the program was able to help roughly 40 families that signed up through the Boys & Girls Club of Faulkner County.

"The parents - they're more excited than the children," commented Woodruff. "It takes a little bit of the burden off them this holiday season. They can focus on getting kids something fun and let us handle those coats."

It was "Operation Christmas Cheer" in Camden, where officers with the Camden Police Department and Ouachita County Sheriff's Office pulled over some unsuspecting drivers and gave out gift cards instead of tickets.

"The reason we stopped you - that sign back there - you made a complete stop and we want to say thank you with a gift card," said one Camden officer in a video posted to Facebook.

Camden officers handed out 98 gift cards and gift certificates - all in $25 increments and all to different places around Ouachita County.

Both law enforcement agencies said it was the first time either had done these programs, and both say they hope to do it again next year.

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