PATERSON, NJ – The law enforcement and firefighting communities came out in force Wednesday night to celebrate the first Christmas party and toy drive hosted jointly by the city’s Bronze Shields and Bronze Heat organization.

The event, according to Paterson Fire Captain Alton Dickson, President of the Bronze Heat, was an extension of their efforts to support the community they serve in while also bringing people together in a festive way to “have a good time.”

Toys donated to the event will be donated to sick children, while the funds raised through ticket sales will also be used to purchase additional gifts.

Sign Up for E-News

In speaking after the event Dickson expressed his good wishes for a safe holiday season, and when asked about his wishes for Paterson for the new year he said that he would like to see the City find ways to expand local hiring. Doing this, he said, “will have a positive economic impact and truly make a difference in making our city even stronger.”

Suggesting that it’s important for children to see police in a different and more positive light   Paterson Police Lieutenant Dalton Price, who also serves as the President of the Bronze Shields, estimated that 90% of what the organization does is bridging the gap between community and the police.

A recognized expert in community policing, and the author of “The Guide to Community Policing 3.0,” Price offered that “if you want to be seen differently you have to do something different,” and collecting these toys for St Joseph’s Health is part of that.