Police holiday enforcement and holiday giving

Police across the Valley are beefing up security this holiday, and the San Juan Police Department is no different, but they are also keeping the spirit alive with some gift giving.

Citations, pursuits and helping the stranded is all part of a police officer's job, but on Christmas Eve, there's more to it than that.

For Adam Chavera, this is his normal route, but today, it's a little more crowded.

Last minute shoppers pile into store parking lots, and for those on the hunt for free gifts, this could be the jackpot.

"We get a lot of burglaries," said Chavera. "Burglaries of vehicles...many people have their gifts in their vehicles trying to shop for more people, so we just try to patrol the area a little bit more."

Chavera worked the grave yard shift last year on Christmas Eve, and he said there were plenty of family feuds.

"Arguments turn into assaults and sometimes it's pretty bad," said Chavera.

But while the Action 4 News crew was present, no assaults were called in.

"I'm kind of surprised," said Chavera.

He's surprised, but not disappointed.

Chavera would rather see peace on Christmas Eve which is why he's focusing on patrolling the streets looking for criminal activity and the occasional speeder.

"The speeding, yes, we do get a lot of that. Everybody is in a hurry to get home or finish their shopping, but we try to stick more during the holidays to the businesses," said Chavera.

But beefing up police presence and citing for traffic violations aren't the only things on this officer's to do list.

Chavera said he'd rather hand out a Christmas toy or two to a kid in need rather than citing someone for a traffic violation on Christmas Eve.

With a trunk of toys, every chance he'd get, he pulled over and gave a gift to a child.

"It's a good feeling," said Chavera. "Sometimes with all the crime and all that other stuff, whenever you see a kid smile, it's not all that bad."

Keeping with the police mission, he's serving and protecting the public this Christmas Eve.

Every year, the San Juan Police Department and others in the Valley collect gifts for kids in need; Chavera was able to deliver all the toys in his trunk from the toy collection on Christmas Eve.