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Wilmington police captain makes working the holiday easier

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- While many of us are home enjoying our families, police officers are still out keeping the streets safe.

One captain with the Wilmington Police Department made working on the holiday a little easier.

Sergeant Michael Clemmons has worked for the Wilmington Police Department for the past 24 years, many of those years working Christmas, something he says has not always been easy.

"My children have loved it because their dad's a police officer," said Clemmons. "But then, it's nerve-racking because they don't know if I'm coming home."

But this year, Captain Jim Varrone wanted to make it a little easier. He and his wife cooked an entire Christmas dinner for all the officers who have to work.

"Christmas isn't all about receiving; it's about giving," said Varrone. "And it feels good to do something like this that I know is something that others are going to appreciate."

Varrone says after many years of working on the holidays, he is happy to bring a little Christmas cheer to his family away from home.

"It's time away from their families, and I know how lonely that can feel when you're away from your family."

Sergeant Clemmons will be home for Christmas next year. He is retiring February. But he says he and his fellow officers will always be a family.

"If you put this badge and gun on, you're family. Once you're a police officer, you're always an officer."

About 15 percent of Americans worked this Christmas. That includes emergency services workers, some retail workers, and yes... news reporters.

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