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Santa Rides Through Silver Spring on Armored Vehicle

Watch for Santa riding through town on a BearCat on Wednesday.

Santa will ride through the county on Dec. 18, 2013. File photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Police Department.
Santa will ride through the county on Dec. 18, 2013. File photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Police Department.
When Santa Claus rides through Silver Spring on Wednesday, Dec. 18, he'll be on a BearCat.

The BearCat—an acronym for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck—is an armored police tactical vehicle. It's not commonly driven around Montgomery County, so when Santa rides the BearCat from Germantown to Bethesda, he'll be sure to be spotted.

Santa will be escorted on Wednesday by county police officers, according to a police department news release, and Santa and the officers will transport gift bags and donations raised by the police department to a party for children whose families are residents of The Children's Inn at NIH, according to the news release.

"This is a very special night for the children and families at The Inn," Laura King, director of volunteers and community outreach, said in a statement.

"Santa’s visit allows kids to forget about the hospital and their illness—at least for the night," she added.

Santa and the police begin the ride at the 5th District police station in Germantown (20000 Aircraft Dr.) at 10 a.m., and finish up at The Children's Inn (7 West Dr., Bethesda) at around 5:30 p.m., the police department stated.

Here are Santa's slated locations on Wednesday:
  • After leaving the 5th District station at 10 a.m., Santa's first stop is at Wegman’s (20600 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown).
  • Then, Santa visits Sheehy Ford (901 Frederick Rd., Gaithersburg) to thank the dealership for donations to the annual Santa ride.
  • Santa continues to the Rockville and Olney town centers.
  • Santa is slated to arrive at the county police department's headquarters in Gaithersburg (45 W. Watkins Mill Rd.) at about 2 p.m.
  • Santa stops for lunch at Vince & Dominic's (10474 Auto Park Ave., Bethesda), which will host a luncheon for Santa and the accompanying police officers—something the restaurant has done for several years.
  • After lunch, Santa continues to the Silver Spring town center and to Bethesda Triangle.
  • Santa departs for his final destination—The Children’s Inn at NIH—from Bethesda Triangle. Arrival at The Children’s Inn is expected at about 5:30 p.m. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., county police officers and Santa distribute gift bags to the children at The Children's Inn.
Can't get to any of these locations to see Santa in person? Join Santa and the police on a virtual ride-along on Twitter (@mcpnews, #MCPSantaRide). County police officers will tweet in real time as Santa progresses through the county, police said.

Gift cards collected this month by Montgomery County police officers will assist families staying at The Children's Inn in purchasing food and supplies during their stay. The funds also provide gifts for children receiving treatment at NIH.  

To provide a financial donation online, visit www.childrensinn.org, click the "Donate Now" button and select "Santa Police Ride." Or, drop off donations for The Children’s Inn at any Montgomery County police district station.
jag December 16, 2013 at 02:47 PM
...what on earth? Whatever happened to the good ol' firetruck santa? Is santa afraid of IEDs along East-West now or something?
H Urquilla December 17, 2013 at 07:51 AM
who is the genius that thought doing this would be such a great idea?! an armored vehicle?! seriously?! this is what Christmas ISNT supposed to be about! maybe he will use flares or flash bang grenades to amuse the kids... i will have my kids ready with their riot gear just in case.
rob hanks December 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Just the message we want for our kids... even Santa is pushing for "security over liberty"! Welcome to the United Police-States of America!
Lazlo Toth December 17, 2013 at 01:37 PM
So, maybe Faux News has it all wrong... It's not that we're waging war on Christmas, it's waging war on us!
Shaka Zulu December 18, 2013 at 06:44 AM
And "We the people" can only have 7 rounds? I wonder who would win this fight huh? You know we were giving the right to keep and bear arms just in case the government ever did things like this.
H Urquilla December 18, 2013 at 08:51 AM
HO! HO! RAT TAT TAT TAT $&*%@#$&*!!!
jag December 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Right, Shaka, because if you had 10 (or 10 billion for that matter) rounds you could really take on the US military. This is by far the nuttiest of the nutjob arguments.
jag December 19, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Saw santa in the armor vehicle tonight. In addition to santa there were about a dozen cops on motorcycles, a few more in unmarked cars and then another 8 or so cops in police cars - all with lights and sirens on. So unbelievably stupid. I certainly hope all those cops were volunteers and not paid for wasting their time.
Strong VA December 26, 2013 at 07:25 PM
This is a terrible message to send to children. And, stop the militarization of the police.
Ronald Abeles December 27, 2013 at 07:53 AM
This is incredible inappropriate. Isn't this supposed to be the season of peace? Why have Santa in a military vehicle that symbolizes the opposite? This display of police power and perhaps intimidation should be restricted to occasions when it is needed (e,g., riots) and not to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Shame.
rob hanks December 27, 2013 at 01:38 PM
wow, we had the same scenario in Aberdeen, Santa with his police escort! They could have brought in the reindeer instead, but their antlers are considered weapons of mass destruction so they are considered domestic terrorists!!!
Ian Brett Cooper December 27, 2013 at 06:19 PM
What fricken idiot thought up this PR disaster-in-the-making. Hopefully he's out of a job by now.
Ian Brett Cooper December 27, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Hopefully there was at least some booing.

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