Operation Santa spreads cheer to families of fallen and injured officers

It may be early December, but Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves were busy Saturday morning bringing the holiday spirit to the families of Chicago's heroes.

Operation Santa kicked off with Jolly St. Nick arriving at Macy's on State Street to collect the presents. Then, it was off to the suburbs.

Santa and Mrs. Claus didn't have their reindeer, but they did have a full police escort from the Chicago Police Department.

The gifts were for the children whose parents have died in the line of duty or who were seriously injured on the job.

Superintendent Larry Snelling said these families need to know Chicago never forgets the sacrifices their loved ones made.

"When we have officers who have given that ultimate sacrifice or been seriously injured, their families are affected. Children will no longer see their mothers, their fathers. So we have to be there for those families. We tell them that we're going to be there, and we are going to be there," Snelling said.

Among the stops for Santa and Mrs. Claus was the home of Officer Carlos Yanez. He was shot several times, including in the head, and still has the bullets in his body to this day.

He survived the shooting, but his partner Ella French, died of her wounds.