Spokane Police, Santa surprise local kids with new bikes for Christmas

SPOKANE, Wash. — Christmas came early for some lucky Spokane kids. Santa and the Spokane Police Department surprised students with brand new bikes. 

The Police Department wanted to give back to the community, especially after a tough year. So, they rewarded certain students for doing well in school while their parents overcome hardship. 

“Do you guys want something cool?,” Officer Mark Brownell (or Santa, in this case), asked. 

The group of kids responded with enthusiasm. 

A reward for the Mejia family, toughing out a hard year trying to learn from home. 

According to their schools, and Santa, they made the nice list this year. 

A brand new bike is something fifth grader Landon has needed since his bike broke down last year. He didn’t think he’d get a new one. 

“I thought I was going to get like toys or something, like electronics, video games, like that,” said Landon. “But this, I’m excited to ride it.” 

As a father, Christopher was filled with joy seeing his kids happy. 

I knew there was something coming, I didn’t know it was going to be this big. So just to see all that was exciting myself and obviously exciting for the kids,. so that was great to see,” said Christopher.  

Officers from the department’s Tactical Rapid Response Bike team, the chaplaincy, and a late lieutenant’s wife all put money together to buy the bikes. They raised almost $2,500 to make it happen. 

“It’s not about us, it’s more about the kids and maybe trying to make their Christmas and family’s Christmas a little bit easier or a little bit better for them,” said Officer Brownell. 

A total of 19 kids’ days were made through the bike donations. Local schools helped by identifying children in need. 

“I wish we could provide for everybody, but this was a unique way where we could only provide for certain families, but we did our best,” said Edward Richardson with SPD. 

This marks the first year officers have done this, but they hope to make it a yearly tradition. 

“It felt really good,” said Lance Meninick of getting a new bike from officers.

Originally, Brownell said they wanted to hold a whole event where the kids would come in, learn how to put the bikes together with officers and get a little training and certificate. But, because of COVID, they had to forgo that.

Instead, about six officers helped put the bikes together and delivered them to 19 kids on Saturday. Now, those students have brand new bikes- and helmets- to ride into the new year.