PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In the spirit of Thanksgiving, local police officers have launched a very special operation, stuffing and packing more than 400 baskets with turkeys and all the fixings to distribute to those in need throughout their districts.
Standing shoulder to shoulder, Philadelphia police and their friends with the Police Athletic League rolled out an assembly line to pull off Operation Thanksgiving.
Every rank in the department joined in to help pack.
Outside of police headquarters members of the department divided up turkeys, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, potatoes and more to complete a Thanksgiving meal in a box. Then police vans load the meals up to head to different districts across the city where pre-approved families will receive them.
Philadelphia Police Officer Dave Jones explains, "The Community Relations Office at each district will determine the eligibility of those families to receive a turkey dinner. They send a list to our unit - the Community Relations Unit. We collate the list, order the turkeys, and this year we're sending out 420 turkey dinners."
The tradition is in its 47th year and police officers and civilians in the department foot the bill for all of the food.
It's also turned into a yearly gathering for police men and women across the city who are happy to provide a special meal.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross says, "We're not just about being law and order officers and so forth, or just peacekeepers. We're about giving back as well."
Philadelphia police box 420 holiday meals for families in need