CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Santa got out of a cop car in Carlisle on Christmas Eve. The big guy wasn’t in trouble, however. The sheriff gave Santa a ride so he could make a special visit to the Stanton family in Carlisle.

The deputies knew the family will be missing someone this year.

“We had one of our brothers in law enforcement away, not being able to be home for Christmas,” Nicholas Chimienti Jr. from the Dauphin County Sheriff’s Department said.

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It was Michael Stanton’s family. The Dauphin County Sheriff’s Deputy is currently deployed overseas with the U.S. Military.

Knowing the kids would be missing their dad, the Dauphin County Sheriff’s Department asked Santa to make an early stop.

“We thought it would be a great thing to bring a little extra joy to that family,” Chimienti Jr. said.

The kids got some early Christmas gifts and some smiles. Santa understood that sometimes families need a little extra love when they are missing someone.

“They were just so excited. I talked to the wife afterward. She couldn’t thank us enough and her kids couldn’t stop talking about Santa visiting at the house,” Chimienti Jr. said.