Bradenton police officer show children they care with lunch, toys and games

Police officers manned the grill, handed out toys and even jumped alongside children in a bounce house on Friday, delivering a message that they care and providing youngsters with a day of positive activities.

Nearly 300 children came out to the Bradenton Police Department’s second annual Christmas in July event at the City Life Church, 1300 17th Ave. W., Bradenton.

It couldn’t be a party without a bounce house for the kids, Police Chief Melanie Bevan said.

“We look all the time for different events that we can host to better connect with our community members, and especially our kids,” Bevan said. “Yesterday, 30 officers went out and they helped build a home with Habitat for Humanity, but in the end that was a little more for the adults. So what we always want to do is offset what we do with adult members of our community with the children.”

So, the department developed Christmas in July last year and hosts it “on the hottest day of the year,” the chief of police joked. “It doesn’t seem like anyone cares.”

The department received donations of…

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