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Omaha Police Department hosts Holiday with the Blue, connects with local families

Posted at 6:57 AM, Dec 13, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Traditionally, the colors of Christmas might be red and green, but Omaha Police officers want to toss in some blue too.

Law enforcement spent time with families at the annual Holiday with the Blue Christmas event at South High School.

"They are able to talk to them, interact with them, have some activities that they are doing with them, give them a little toy, things like that," Crime Prevention Specialist Ofelia Robles said.

Robles says officers are aiming to connect over Christmas.

"They come in through the gym here at South High and there's a lot of activity going on in here. The agency tables for example. There's ten agencies tables, there's a bouncy house, an area where kids can make a letter or drawing to their heroes in blue, so if kids want to do that, they can do that, there's also a table where young kids can make police hats," Robles said.

Officer Ruteena Alcantara's goal is to allow families to better understand the person behind the badge.

"Many times, they are scared of me. When they see me in uniform, but when they get to talk to me, and they see me smile and I get to talk to them, it changes. To have events like this and they can see me and be happy to see me, it's like no other feeling," Alcantara said.

Alcantara hopes breaking down barriers will foster better understanding between the public and law enforcement.

"Many kids are scared of that authority kind of thing, many parents often will tell them, I'm going to call the police and they'll take you away, with those kinds of things instilled in them, I still think it's important to be that role in being positive in their life," Alcantara said.

This is the 19th year OPD has hosted this event.

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