by: Peter Daut Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police played Santa on Friday, giving away presents and food to local families.
This holiday season, the department helped more than 600 families, including about 2,000 children.
"It's a wonderful experience to see the kids and the smiles on their faces," Capt. Mike Harris said.
City and county agencies picked the families, which included Latoya Mack's.
"I just appreciate everything they did for me and my family. Just make me want to cry," she said.
Chief Rodney Monroe also helped with the deliveries and said the program is just as meaningful to officers as it is to children.
"Knowing that we're going there for the specific purpose of helping someone is more rewarding than anything," Monroe said.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Explorer Post Christmas Project began in 1974. The department distributes a food box with a ham, a fruit box, and gifts for the children.