Thursday, November 9, 2023

No police escort for annual Christmas toy run

Fairfield, California, USA (November 9, 2023) - Police Chief Dan Marshall said he would quit his job if the city forces his police officers to assist with a Christmas toy run, all because the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club are involved.
Photo: Operating Engineers Local 3

Over the decades-long Samoa Mission Christmas Toy Run, hundreds of motorcyclists, including Santa, parade down Fairfield streets. Fairfield police have served as an escort in the past. The chief says no more.

Community members asked Police Chief Dan Marshall to reconsider his stand. He stood firm, saying he doesn't want to put his officers in harm's way. The past two years Hell's Angels have participated, he said. "We do not support any criminal organization," he said during public comments at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Toy Run will continue despite no police escort

The event is nearing its 20th anniversary. Last year, more than 400 toys were distributed, Gene Ahu, of Mission Samoa, said. Past toy runs have been done without a permit as a favor, Marshall said. He emphasized as long as the bikers follow the rules of the road, there should not be an issue. "I'm glad they are doing it," Marshall said.

Mayor Catherine "Cat" Moy and councilmembers Scott Tonnesen and Rick Vaccaro praised the event and offered their support for Marshall's decision. Many bikers involved in the ride stood in the council chamber's entryway during the discussion. The Toy Run is sponsored by Bad Boyz MC, Operating Engineers Local No. 3 and Mission Samoa.