KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri police are playing Santa after a hit and run crash this year took a man’s life.
The department adopted a family with 10 kids, following the death of their father.
Kansas City police made and unexpected house call — armed with presents. It’s an annual tradition for the traffic division.
Sgt. Jonathan Rivers said it’s about giving back to a family that’s lost a loved one.
“It makes the job a little bit better to see someone, to makes someone day a little bit better because we do deal with people on their worst day,” Rivers said. “So for us, to make someone’s life just a little bit better for the holidays is a really good feeling.”
“I know that it’s not something that they have to do and it’s just precious,” wife Megan Criniere said.
Criniere was hit and killed while riding his bicycle. He left behind his wife and 10 children.
A suspect has since been charged in his death.
“It’s just been an up and down journey for us as well,” Megan said. “So it’s not always presents and fun. there’s lots of tears, but yeah I just think having lots of kids with lots of life ahead of them makes me move, just keeps me in motion.”
This family is missing dad’s fun spirit, but they know he’s still with them in pictures and holiday traditions.
“It’s hard not to be excited with this many kids in the house so we just keep moving and I’m sure wrapping paper will be everywhere the second you guys walk out the door.”
People throughout the department pitched in to purchase toys and gift cards. Then, Price Chopper covered the groceries.
“This is a $1,000 that was donated by someone,” Rivers told Megan.
Megan said support from the community, Rivers’ presence and gifts under the tree help a lot.