4 Calls for Service Required of a Christmas Day Beat Cop

Working Christmas day sucks. There is no other way to describe it. … Well, there is, but I’m trying to be socially acceptable.

While cops will respond to a thousand different types of calls for service on Christmas, the festive holiday is sure to bring some of the regulars—a need for police response … ‘tis the season.

Theft of Christmas Presents

It doesn’t matter where Mom or Dad stashed the gifts; some yuletide hooligan is sure to find them.

While this crime is “leftover” from the week leading up to Christmas, some people will not discover the theft until the presents should be delivered by Santa—early Christmas morning. As a result, beat cops will be taking theft reports when the gifts disappear, courtesy of a Grinch with a criminal record.


(Fort Worth Police Department Facebook)

Traffic Collision

Oh sure, this occurs thousands of times everyday, but a motor officer or someone from the traffic bureau is usually on duty to respond. Yet on Christmas morning our collision reconstruction experts are off duty.

Consequently, the beat cop, who rarely takes an accident report, needs to brush off his or her skills at traffic collision investigation, because crashes happen!

True story



People tend to take their life around the holidays. All the factors that make people question reasons to exist get exacerbated when the world attends one Christmas party after another.

Finally, the depression, loneliness, and/or feelings of desperation crescendo on Christmas. Therefore, beat cops will take reports documenting the demise of people who view life as hopeless.


(Adobe Stock)

Family Fight – Domestic Violence

The typical domestic violence call 364 days per year involve people who are married or in a dating relationship—not all, but a majority. However, on Christmas day the menu of domestic violence gets expanded; every conceivable relationship decides to fight when they gather to exchange gifts and “enjoy” the company of one another.

The fuse is short as grievances, past and present, get aired. As a result, fighting words are exchanged in lieu of presents, and pretty soon fists are flying.

When the beat cops arrive, we’ve got bloodied brother Bob with an ice pack on his face, with his underachieving sibling pacing like a caged tiger wanting to take on all comers, including those in uniform.

Eventually, the underachieving sibling goes to jail as he was determined to be the primary aggressor, not to mention he failed to comply with every lawful order given to him by the officers.

Regardless of who is fighting on Christmas day, it occurs in too many homes where “peace on earth” is shattered.


(Berkeley Police Department)

Christmas Day Beat Cop 

So when the Christmas day beat cop in your life arrives home somewhat detached from the holiday spirit you’d like to see, now you know why.

Police officers witnessed the sorrow of a single mother who had her children’s gifts stolen; they saw the fallout of a violent collision as a family failed to make it to Grandmother’s house; they called the coroner to describe the scene of a man hanging from the rafters in his garage; and they arrested someone for violently destroying the Christmas spirit in a home that was anything but peaceful.

Merry Christmas

This list is certainly not all inclusive, but these Christmas day calls for service appeared frequently during my career. Yet through all the horrible occasions that police officers routinely experience, I hope each of you enjoy a “quiet” day at work and a wonderful time of celebration with your loved ones. Merry Christmas!

Jim McNeff, partner and managing editor, Law Enforcement Today