FAIRFIELD — Members of the Fairfield Police Department delivered to about 90 households and gave presents to around 200 children this Christmas as part of its Cops Care for Kids Program, according to a news release by Mark Huard.

The program was created in 2006 by Detective Kingston Paul who started shopping all year for small stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons which he would deliver to struggling families within Fairfield.

After several years, then Chief John Emery learned the program was being funded solely by Paul, he challenged all officers to donate $5 per week to the program. He himself donated $10 weekly and now the program raises about $1,300 per year, according to the release.

Once the officers started donating, the list was increased to include as many Fairfield children as possible and has risen to as many as 250 children.

This holiday, the department was able to get names of families and children in need with the help of the Fairfield Primary and Benton Elementary School staff. The schools handed out slips to Fairfield children and collected them for the officers. Fairfield officers then shopped for gifts at local stores. Around 600 gifts were wrapped by approximately 15 people in the basement of the Town Office.

The donations were packaged with a small stuffed animal and a business card which was printed in memory of Paul who passed away this past fall. Some of Kingston’s family members attended the wrapping session as well as family and friends of the departments officers and town office staff (who help with wrapping most of the fall).

Paul retired as a captain in 2015 after serving 20 years with the town of Fairfield, and after his passing, the department learned that he donated $20,000 to the program to ensure its existence long into the future, according to the release.

The department received gifts from many sources including local citizens, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, although the officers are most proud of the fact that they donate the lions share of expenses for the program.

Chief Tom Gould said, “It’s hard to put into words the emotions involved in the delivery process because it creates a unique connection between our department and the children who live in town. We’re just as excited to see them as they are to see us,” according to the release.

The department also received support by Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, they patrolled the town and covered calls when all of Fairfield cruisers were busy making deliveries.