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Chicago police officers spread holiday cheer to families of injured colleagues – NBC Chicago

Chicago police officers are cheering up their injured colleagues on the job, as well as their loved ones, this holiday season.

Year after year, Operation Santa, a program run by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, seeks to bring joy to the families of police officers who have been killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

This time around, the operation brought Jolly Old Saint Nicholas – and his aides – to the home of Carlos Yanez Jr., the Chicago police officer who was seriously injured in the Aug. 7, 2021, shooting that killed his partner, Officer Ella French.

“It’s just amazing that the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, along with so many others, brings so much joy to the families of police officers who have lost so much,” Yanez said.

Officers and supporters presented gifts to Yanez’s family, including his 4-year-old son, Carlos Giovanni Yanez III, in a bid to bring hope.

“It’s just amazing, it melts my heart that I have the honor and privilege to still be his father,” the officer said.

While Yanez says he has battles every day – physically, mentally and psychologically – moments like this keep him going.

“I draw my strength from all the officers working and my family of course and that little guy right there,” Yanez said.

Operation Santa Claus plans to visit a total of 13 families throughout the weekend.

NBC Chicago

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