BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. — For Bergen County police officers Vinny Rizzo and Kash Cruise, any opportunity to show the public that police officers are just like everyone else is a good one.
That's why Rizzo, Kash and members of their PBA organizations have decided to join the more than 50 other police departments for this year's Bergen County PBA Toy Drive.
"We truly care about bringing happiness to other people, particularly kids in situations that are less than fortunate," said Rizzo, the state delegate for PBA 217.
"We're not just people out there looking to write tickets -- it’s a much more important job than that, and bringing happiness is definitely one of those things."
The toy drive was started nearly three decades ago by retired Closter sergeant Donald Nicoletti, who -- along with the help of PBAs from across the county -- will deliver donations later this month to several destinations including the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HUMC and the Valley Hospital Pediatric Center.
"It's one of those things that gets lost in the shuffle with that police officers do, especially in the national media," Cruise said.
"The toy drive is local, homegrown and always to a good cause."
Rizzo is working with four local elementary schools, and Cruise has support of corporations.
"The community aspect of what we do gets lost a lot," Cruise said, "but it's important in building community relationships -- giving back a little bit more."
TOY DONATIONS CAN BE DROPPED AT MONTVALE, ALLENDALE AND WALDWICK POLICE HEADQUARTERS UNTIL DEC. 15.
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