"It was like winning the lottery:" Milwaukee Police Department grants holiday wishes

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Forget the sleigh and red suit! It was squad cards and badges making this a Merry Christmas for several Milwaukee families.

"This is the best day of the year I think for officers that work at this district. I really was excited today getting up and knowing that I'm going to be able to bring something special to the families we serve every day," said MPD District 5 Community Liaison Lori Lammers.

This is the fifth year Milwaukee Police Department's 5th District took over some of Santa's work load. The district adopted nine families to surprise with a little Christmas cheer.

"We come across these families in our normal course of duty and we get referrals from our community partners," said Lammers.

Seven-year-old Iyana Westerfield and her grandmother Dorene make up one of those families.

"I was caught all surprised. I didn't know it was going to be so many gifts. It feels great. It does. It was like winning the lottery," said Dorene Westerfield.

Walmart provides the funds to buy food for the selected families for a holiday meal.

Each member of the family also gets a gift they need and gift they want, which is all paid for with the officers' own money.

"It's just so wonderful to see the 5th District police station reach out to me and my granddaughter and make our wishes come true. For every other Christmas, I'm going to think about this one special Christmas that I got from the 5th district. This will always be in my memory," said DoreneWesterfield.

The Criminal Investigation Bureau and Police Academy assisted the 5th District this year, allowing them to grant Christmas wishes to more Milwaukee families.

Meanwhile, some police officers were on the receiving end -- getting a Christmas surprise at their station overnight.

Carolers stopped by Milwaukee Police Department's District 2 headquarters on Tuesday night, December 23rd. The group says they just wanted to spread some holiday cheer. They're members of the Desatar Ministry.

Police say they are very grateful for the support of the community this holiday season.