FAIRVIEW, N.J. -- There's a special place for Fairview police in the hearts of the organizers of this year's Bergen County PBA Toy Drive Drive to help ill, sick and needy children.
"There are some big-ticket items that have been requested that some departments can't provide," said Donald Nicoletti, a retired Closter police sergeant who helped launch the drive in 1988.
Members of PBA Local 45 "have taken it and run with it," he said.
Besides arranging dropoff points for toy collections , the eastern Bergen department had collected nearly $30,000 from area businesses by this weekend.
It's helped borough officers purchase xBoxes, iPads and family vacations, among other pricier presents, Fairview Police Chief Martin Kahn said.
"It's really nice to see the way they put their hearts and souls into raising money for this cause," Kahn said. "They are extremely passionate about helping these kids."
Both Kahn and Nicoletti praised for Lt. John Pierotti, who brought his department into the drive last year and is again spearheading the effort.
"He's always asking what else he can do," Nicoletti said. "It's great."
The collected presents will eventually make their way to the Closter firehouse later this month.
After everything is sorted there, the "Santa Response Team" -- made up of members of 47 police agencies in Bergen County and Rockland -- will personally deliver toys to the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and other spots -- during the largest operation of its kinds in the Northeast.
The group this year is also doing more individual families than ever, Nicoletti said.
You can drop unwrapped toys and monetary donations 24 hours a day in the vestibule of Fairview police headquarters on Anderson Avenue.
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