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Santa Claus came early this year for about 100 kids.

“It’s fair to say that without this event many of them may not have gotten gifts at all,” said Jersey Shore Rescue Mission Director Phillip Richards.

The Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association and Chaplain Pastor Terrance Porter of the Red Bank-based Pilgrim Baptist Church sponsored a Christmas party at the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission in Asbury Park. Nearly a dozen police chiefs served local residents a hot meal while guests enjoyed the holiday festivities, and a fire truck, too.

“It’s also a great time to show the community that we really do care about them, even though we answer all the calls and take care of people. But it’s a good time to show kids we care about them and give back to them,” said Brielle Police Chief Michael Palmer. “It lets the kids know police officers are out there for them and that they can always come to us.”

Read the full story here.