But the giving spirit of the Christmas season has not been lost on the officers of the 104th Precinct this year.
Those stationed at the precinct have begun a campaign to make one Ridgewood family’s Christmas a little brighter after a frightening crime.
Early during the week of Dec. 16, the father landed in jail after brutally beating and kicking his 5-year-old son, sending him to the hospital for stitches.
Upon the father’s arrest, officers discovered that the rest of the family, consisting of the mother, who was previously married to the injured boy’s father, and three children ranging from 11 to just two-months-old, were living in less-than-ideal conditions.
“The children were sleeping on the floor,” 104th Precinct Capt. Christopher Manson said. “The family was living in extremely poor living conditions.”
That is when Sgt. Martha LeQuerica and Officer Nicholas Cadavid, the domestic violence officers working the case, traded in their squad cars for reindeer and Santa’s sleigh in an effort to aid the struggling family.
As of Dec. 20, the precinct’s officers have contributed approximately $1,200 of their own money to a relief fund for the family, and Manson believes that amount could go reach as high as $1,600 by Christmas.
“We wanted to take this family under our wing and protect them,” he said. “Cops do a lot of good stuff.”
Since the assault, LeQuerica purchased snow boots for the children with her own money and the officers have given the children plates of chocolate and cookies as well as toys.
As for their sleeping arrangements, the precinct plans to buy and personally assemble new bunk beds for them as well.
“We will greatly improve this family’s living circumstances,” Manson said. “[The officers] have been doing exceptional work.”