MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- First responders, like police officers and firefighters, are spending Thanksgiving away from their families tonight. But, in at least one Highway Patrol office they are combining work with the holiday.
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At the CHP Contra Costa Office in Martinez, a marked SUV pulls up to the automatic gate. Inside, an officer is taking a suspect in a high-speed chase to jail. A reminder that in law enforcement, Thanksgiving is usually just another work day usually, but not at the CHP Martinez office this Thanksgiving.
Captain Dan Seaman and family provided turkey and all the trimmings for about two dozen officers and volunteers who were on-duty Thursday. Seaman says it's a lesson he learned when he was a young officer. " Our Captain came in one night and brought us treats on graveyard, and we thought it was the greatest thing. And I always said if I ever became a commander, I'm going to do the same and pay it forward."
Nightshift officers appreciate the gesture since they won't get to dine with family. Dayshift officers will, later, but chose to break bread with comrades out of the kind of respect that every cop understands.
Officer Tyler Carlton said, " It's bittersweet in some ways. The bitter part is you're not with your actual family. The sweet part is you're with your work family."
And you get to serve the public. "There's no greater pride than providing that type of service, making our streets safe, especially on a holiday," according to Officer Chris Flores.
It's also why these volunteers don't mind giving up part of their Thanksgiving to help serve. Cindy Lima said, "These guys are like our family. They are our family."
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