TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo Police Officer Jimmy Ogle is remembered by his colleagues as the dispatcher who knew every street in the city.
He's also often referred to as the "Santa Claus" of the department, as he would put out calls for Santa on the police scanner every year on Christmas Eve.
"But that was what was fun about Christmas Eve, was we heard him have fun on the radio," Toledo police officer Jim Schlievert said.
"He loved doing those broadcasts. He'd put a Santa had on and he'd read off those Christmas broadcasts," recalled Officer Michael Mugler.
Ogle would read the same script off every year, which sounded very official for any kid who happened to be listening in.
"Attention all cars and listeners," Ogle read one Christmas Eve in 2009. "Be on the lookout for a short jolly individual who’s dressed in red and trimmed in white who’s constantly saying 'ho ho ho.' The subject was last seen operating a sleigh being pulled by eight reindeer, southbound from the North Pole."
Believing in Santa Claus comes almost naturally for every kid. But as the years go by, it becomes a little harder to believe without proof.
"But they would tune in all the time, and they would listen to those and have their kids listen. And since it came from the police department, kids were like 'oh my god it’s got to be real!'" said Mugler.
Many local kids looked forward to the call-out every holiday season, as there was no easily-accessible NORAD Santa tracker back then.
And kids weren’t the only ones tuning in! Officers at the Toledo Police Department still remember hearing it every Christmas Eve. Many officers said it made working the holiday a little better.
"He’s such a knowledgeable and happy-go-lucky guy! And the first time I heard that broadcast I couldn’t believe it," said TPD Sgt. Tom LaForge.
"Just to hear that and to remember that it’s Christmas; it’s just something we looked forward to," said Schlievert.
Ogle passed away in 2011, but 10 years later, his "Santa Claus spirit" is still shining bright throughout the department.
Since his passing, someone else has taken over the Santa call-outs on Christmas Eve. And while it’s not the same as it was when Ogle did it, officers say it’s nice to see the tradition carry on
"It’s neat that they’re carrying on the tradition even though it’s not Jimmy," LaForge said. "But I’m sure he’s proud of everything that it’s continued."
"He was just a jolly guy," said Mugler. "Kind of like a Santa Claus. Basically, a police Santa."