By ZACHARY MATSON
Justin Bernal and the Mohave County Oath Keepers, a group devoted to public safety officers, delivered a box full of stockings to the Lake Havasu Police Department on Christmas Eve.
The stockings are for officers scheduled to work today.
The idea to put together stockings for came to Bernal when he was in the police station earlier this week asking about the neighborhood watch program.
“This every cop is a bad cop thing is ridiculous…” Bernal said. “It’s something to cheer ‘em up and let them know the community supports them.”
He said he initially hoped to make stockings for all 80-plus officers with the department but with the late start instead focused on the officers who work Christmas day, donating 20 stockings in total. Besides administrative operations, the police department has “normal staffing” on Christmas.
Bernal said he plans to do a similar project next year, starting the planning and soliciting of donations from local businesses and groups much earlier than three days before Christmas.
“We’ll have some time for next year to do some fundraising to do something nice for you all,” he told an officer as he dropped off the stockings.
Even with the late start, Bernal said, he was able to garner donations from Bashas and Smith’s grocery stores, Peaches Hair Salon, Herb’s Herbs, Dipoli Pool Service, American Graphics and other businesses.
The stocking were full of snacks, gift cards and coupons for free haircuts and even three months of pool service.
“I didn’t have to go into it,” Bernal said, when he asked businesses for donations. “They were like, ‘Absolutely.’”