Host an officer for the holidays

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - We often hear of families hosting soldiers who can't be with their families for the holidays -- but what about the people who have family in town but can't spend time with them because they work on the holidays?

"As an officer for the past 12 years, I've missed a lot of Christmas meals, I've missed birthdays, I've missed a lot of things because I was on the streets working. So I said, let's see about getting some of the officers on the streets and show them our appreciation for them being out there as we're enjoying the festivities," said Law Enforcement Officer or "LEO Christmas" coordinator Lt. Brad Hicks.

Getting involved is as easy as asking an officer you may already know to join your family, or place a call ahead of time to invite someone over.

"Don't call 9-1-1 but call down to the police department and say this is where I live, and the officer patrolling my beat, I'd like to invite them over for a cup of coffee or a Christmas dinner with my family," Hicks explained.

Not only will you be making someone else's Christmas special, but Lt. Hicks says it will help your whole family be able to put a face with the security that is provided to you, "It's taking us back to the early days when we knew everybody, the postman, the police officers, and it builds a better sense of community."

Organizers of the "LEO Christmas" have created a Facebook event where you can invite families all over the country to participate.

Lt. Hicks said if you are having trouble tracking down an officer, just head over to the nearest 24 hour restaurant on Christmas Eve, and you'll be sure to find a few officers to invite.

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