Yakima PD squad hands out food to those in need - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima PD squad hands out food to those in need

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YAKIMA, WA - One YPD squad is using the holiday season to create what's turning into a Christmas tradition. They volunteer a couple hours in parts of the community that need it most.

Before starting their shift Wednesday night, nine officers in Sergeant Chad Janis's squad handed out food to families at the Union Gospel Mission. Officer Hailie Meyers came up with the idea after meeting a few of the Mission employees at her church. 

Officer Meyers and the other officers went through boxes of food with people, deciding what they needed. They also held open shopping bags and helped load all the food into people's cars.

This act of community service is a way for the public to see YPD officers as humans and not just the badge and uniform they're wearing.

"Working on this side of town, I think it's nice to be able to see some of the people that I might run into going to calls," Officer Meyers said. "Whether they're just there at the same time that I'm responding to help someone else or if I'm helping them." 

Families in need today that got food are either elderly or have multiple children. They only come to the Union Gospel Mission once a month, so the food they get there is really important to them.

Last year, officers from the same squad all went to a Yakima retirement home and handed out gifts and spent some time with the residents.