UTSA Police Department Kicks Off Holiday Season with Toy Distributions

December 22, 2023


UTSA PD Blue SantaThe UTSA Police Department’s (UTSAPD) Blue Santa made his first ever appearance as officers teamed up with UTSA’s Alpha Phi Sigma, Walmart and Braun Hall for toy distributions this month. Sgt. Eric Weber, aka Santa, and other officers were on hand Thursday, Dec. 14, at a nearby apartment complex and on Saturday, Dec. 16, on the Main Campus to hand out presents and take photos with children.

As Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honor Society, prepared for their annual toy drive, the society’s faculty advisor, Henry Meade, reached out to Sgt. Veronica Waelbroeck to jumpstart a new partnership they both hope to continue in the future.

At Thursday’s event, Sgt. Webber was accompanied by his Alpha Phi Sigma elves, students Raphael Moembo, Zonnel Stratton and Briana Suarez, who coordinated the toy drive and were instrumental in partnering with UTSAPD. The students and UTSAPD worked with UTSA’S Westside Community Partnerships Program and the Mexican American Unity Council to identify families in need near our campuses. 

Sgt. Waelbroeck worked with the honor society to ensure they had the support needed for their event. “The students worked hard to collect many toys,” said Sgt. Waelbroeck. “I look forward to continuing to build our partnership and see how we can bring in other elementary schools to participate in this event.”

UTSAPD Blue SantaCommunity partnerships with Braun Hall, Walmart and May Elementary School made for a successful Saturday toy distribution on Main Campus. Through a community grant, Walmart donated $500, which allowed UTSAPD to supplement the Braun Hall toy drive and increase the number of children receiving toys.

The Grinch, portrayed by Lt. Jovany Vega, made a surprise appearance at Saturday’s event, alongside Blue Santa to help distribute the toys. Students enjoyed plenty of refreshments, met several police and public safety officers, and took many photos with the Grinch and Blue Santa. The children also had a visit from Sgt. Molly Ralph and Odie, UTSAPD’s retired K9 officer.

“In looking to strengthen our long-standing relationship with May Elementary, we wanted to bring Blue Santa and the kids together to create what we hope is a memorable event in their lives,” said Sgt. Waelbroeck.

Officers on hand to distribute toys at both events include: Chief Stephanie Schoenborn, Capt. Thomas Calucci, Capt. Doug Sonego, Cpl. Charles Reyes and officers Melody Erickson, Amanda Villegas, Luis Ramirez, Elizabeth Rivera. Joining our officers were Public Safety Officer Supervisor George Dilworth, Dispatcher Heather Gartrell and student workers Dubelsa Villarreal, Lizette Martinez, Elena Sloan and Carlos Resendez.

Photo Album: UTSAPD Blue Santa Distributes Toys