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Tough times force Santa to cancel rounds in Redondo Beach

November 4, 2011 | 11:13 am

Redondo Beach santa
Times are tough, even for Santa Claus.

His annual sleigh visits to neighborhoods in Redondo Beach have been canceled, indirectly because of city budget cuts, the Redondo Beach Police Officers Assn. announced, according to a Daily Breeze report Friday.

Furloughs, pay cuts and a reduction in the police force have reduced the number of officers available to volunteer in their free time, said police union president Sgt. Dave Taneman.

"It takes at least five officers per night to put the sleigh out," Taneman told the newspaper.

The Redondo Police Officers Assn. said officers will instead hold two afternoon events in local parks where parents can bring their children to see Santa.

Officers, members of the Redondo Beach Firefighters Assn. and residents have volunteered their time for 20 years to chaperone Santa's sleigh through the city each night between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The 18-night event requires about 1,500 hours, police said.

The sleigh visits, Taneman said, were paid for entirely by the association.


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-- From a Times staff writer

Photo: The Redondo Beach police and fire associations spread holiday cheer in Redondo Beach in 1997. This year's Santa visits are being canceled because of budget woes. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times