They put down their weapons, pulled up their sleeves and went to work preparing mountains of oven-baked turkey and mounds of mashed potatoes, with all the trimmings, to hand out to residents of the shelter.
"A lot of people see us on our regular days, handing out tickets, but they don't see our compassionate side," ISP Lt. Todd Smith told the BannerGraphic.
He and a group of ISP troopers and ISP employees, mostly from the Putnamville Post, came up with the idea to donate food and prepare a special dinner for shelter residents to commemorate the Christmas and holiday season.
"I think it's a great idea," said ISP Sgt. Pat Warczynski, who joined Smith and ISP Area Cpt. Brent Johnson in the kitchen Wednesday night.
In all, more than a half dozen ISP troopers, in addition to several employees of the State Police, took part in the first-time project by purchasing food and preparing it for the residents of the shelter.
Smith even cooked the turkey at his own home Tuesday night, in preparation for bringing it to the shelter on Wednesday.
"They've come in, patted us on the back, and said it means a lot to them," Smith said the shelter residents.
Valeta May is employed by the shelter as the evening monitor and said the residents and staff are appreciative of the police officers' efforts.
"The residents really enjoyed it," she said. "They appreciate groups that come in like this."
Wal-Mart also donated $50 for the project.
Smith and other officers said they were happy with how well the project turned out and they hoped to do it again next year, possibly at the shelter.