Sheriff Jim McDonnell; Commander Henry Romero, Custody Services Division; Captain Steven Biagini, East Los Angeles Station and Branch Managers Sylvia Portillo and Hector Romero, Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., got the best return on a gift presentation today when they brought toys to boys and girls at the Brooklyn Early Education Center in East Los Angeles: Kids’ smiles lighting up the entire room.
The kiddies were overheard expressing their delight when they discovered they would receive a present. They hopped excitedly on tippy-toes as they waited in line to meet the Sheriff, who personally greeted each child and handed them a toy. He was assisted by Mrs. Portillo and Mr. Romero who drove the toys to the school and helped dispense them, and Captain Biagini, who interacted with the happy little-ones waiting in the queue.
In addition to the gifts donated by Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., children will receive a handcrafted, original toy, handmade by male and female inmates of the Los Angeles County Jail system. Sheriff McDonnell presented the handmade toys to the school, which were 60 dolls for the little girls, with hand-sewn faces and hair, and individually-styled dresses made by female inmates at the Century Regional Detention Facility; and 60 wooden toys for the little boys, constructed and hand-painted in three-dimensional cars, trucks, airplanes, and helicopters by male inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center. Commander Romero, who oversees the Specialized Programs unit producing the toys, also attended and reveled in seeing the kids’ happiness.
The dolls presented were some of the near 1,200 toys handcrafted annually by female inmates at the Century Regional Detention Facility. The doll program began over 55 years ago as a work project for women in the Los Angeles County jail and remains an annual tradition, thanks to the generous donations of materials by community members and Department personnel. The wooden cars, trucks, airplanes, and helicopters were part of approximately 200 toys handcrafted by male inmates incarcerated at the Pitchess Detention Center. The remaining dolls and toys crafted by the inmates are distributed to underprivileged or physically-challenged children throughout Los Angeles County.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department extends sincere appreciation to Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. for their continued support. They generously purchased and delivered the toys for approximately 120 boys and girls who depend on donations for possibly the only gift they may receive this holiday season.
East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station polices the Cities of Commerce, Cudahy, and Maywood, and the unincorporated communities of Belvedere Gardens, City Terrace, Eastmont, East Los Angeles, Saybrook Park, and Union Pacific.