Holiday Heroes: LAPD officer gives back to community during pandemic

'Tis the season for toy drives and food giveaways. Every year we see members of law enforcement step-up and give back. When asked for a recommendation for FOX 11 Holiday Heroes LAPD Officer Nickolas Ferara was nominated.

Ferara is the son of Croation immigrants. He grew up in San Pedro and wanted to be a police officer ever since he was a teenager.

He is now Acting Senior Lead Officer at Harbor Division serving in the very communities of San Pedro and Wilmington where he grew up. Connecting with the community is the job of Senior Lead Officer, but Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino thinks Ferara goes above and beyond.

RELATED: Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Southern California

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic Ferara reached into his own pocket and spent $300 dollars getting food to families. From there, he says donors stepped up with $20,000 in food donations.

For Thanksgiving, he says, Harbor division was asked to partner with LA Port Police in the distribution of 2,000 turkeys donated by the community. In the meantime the Harbor Area Helping Badge Christmas giveaway is coming.

They select 500 families in need. It was launched 15 years ago and carried forward today.

As "acting" Senior Lead Officer Ferara has found so much support in the community that a petition drive was launched to keep him in that position. Comments read, "He's had our back. Show him we have his." Another wrote, "We must keep good officers with this level of integrity."

With L.A.'s murder rate soaring, Ferara is also active with Parents of Murdered Children.

As a Holiday Hero we were amused to see one comment on the petition in support of Officer Ferara that read: "He's our hero."

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.