HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) One local police chief is combining Christmas with officer safety.
Just call Jim Devlin, the Chief of Police for the City of Hewitt, ‘Safety Santa.’
“I got a lot of ‘thank you’s,’” said Devlin.
Since he came on as deputy chief in 2009, Devlin has been buying his officers, out of his own blue pocket, safety-related gifts for Christmas.
“They can potentially start first-aid or life-saving measures before those other first responders show up,” said Devlin.
To compliment the tourniquets he bought them last Christmas, this year Devlin purchased tactical trauma kits for his officers.
Examples of previous years’ gifts from the chief include window punches and paracord survival bracelets.
Devlin said he likes buying ‘practical’ police presents.
"You can go out and buy gift cards and things of that nature and those are great, but I'd rather give them something that is going to last for several years and they may have to use at some point that potentially saves either an officer’s life or a citizen's life while they're in the performance of their duties,” said Devlin.
The med kits, filled with items like shears, bandages, burn gel, etc., help with gunshot trauma and more, which can help officers save lives, even their own.
“They just need the tools to do it,” said Devlin.
In years past, Devlin said police relieved upon firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics to show up and start treating people on a call.
But now policing has evolved, he said, and it’s becoming a ‘best practice’ for officers to begin administering first-aid on scene if they are able to, and trained to.
“Essentially, that’s what the job is - protection of life,” said Devlin.