After a day full of mostly terrible events, including another mass shooting and the drowning of a hero, we were due for some good news and here it is: Thanks to the generosity of officers from across Connecticut, every police officer in Newtown will have Christmas day off.
"They've been actually non-stop with their aid. It's pretty amazing," said Newtown police spokesperson Sergeant Steve Santucci said of his fellow Connecticut officers. "And tomorrow, they'll be at our assistance so that Newtown [officers] can be home with their families."
Obviously, the tragedy took its toll on the town's police, especially the first responders. In an interview with CBS on Saturday, Chief Michael Kehoe and Capt. Joe Rios, two of the first police officers on the scene, described what they saw.
"You could see the carnage present," Kehoe said. "I was devastated. Absolutely devastated. I had no words. You feel a sense of guilt that you weren't there quick enough."
While Kehoe was inside, Captain Rios was outside, helping to evacuate the school. "I saw children leaving the building and I kept wanting more to come out," he said. "I walked in and it was horrific, the crime scene itself. To see the adults and children deceased in the classroom. It was hard to see what had happened."
So yes, it seems appropriate that Rios, Kehoe, and their fellow officers get the day off. And, adding to the holiday spirit of the gesture, all of the police volunteering to work the shift will donate their holiday and overtime pay to Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary-related charities.
[Image via AP]