The camouflage uniforms couldn’t cover up the smiles of a team of specialized local law enforcement officers when they stopped in for a visit at the children’s ward at Valley Medical Center Hospital on Wednesday.
The kids got gifts and the members of Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office SERT (Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team) group got a chance to give back to the community in a different way.
“Not only were the kids happy, the SERT team; it meant a lot to them, too,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza. “In our line of field, we’re taking people to jail. Especially for that unit, the only time they get involved in the community is when something is really violent … for them to spend a little time with the kids at the hospital, it was nice for them, too. They really enjoyed being there.”
The SERT team—the county’s version of a SWAT team—took it upon themselves as a group to spend their own money and make all the arrangements themselves. It was a gesture from the group, not any administration directive, Cardoza said.
Children who were able to go outside in front of the hospital lobby got a chance to look inside the team’s BearCat, an armored vehicle, and a tactical vehicle used for communications. All the children got to visit with Santa, who was one of the team’s deputies, and the team took time to visit with each child.
“(The team) wanted not to just present them with gifts but talk to (the children) a little bit. They wanted to reach out and brighten up their day,” Cardoza said.