Several California Highway Patrol vehicles pulled into a southeast Fresno apartment complex Thursday morning, bringing along Chipper the CHP chipmunk with Christmas gifts, books and cookies for the children at Summer Park Apartments.
Twenty families with their children lined up at the entrance to the community resource center, eager to take photos with Chipper and open gifts. CHP officers chatted and passed out gifts, talking to children and offering them books.
CHP spokesman Matt Matsumura said the gift-giving was a collaboration between the apartment complex at 1275 S. Winery Ave. and the central division officers and their families to reach out to the community.
“Last weekend is when we had all our kids together and they brought all the toys to give to your kids,” Matsumura said to the families. The officers also wanted kids to have a positive experience with law enforcement.
Michelle Parker, the resource coordinator at the complex, said when the CHP reached out, she provided the names of the 20 families.
“You can see it in the kids’ faces how important it is to them,” she said.