PORTLAND, Maine — For years a man dressed up like Santa has passed out well over $100,000 to Mainers. He is only known as “Secret Santa.”

“The mission is to hand out $5,000 to what you feel are deserving folks in the public, people who can really use a boost this time of year,” Secret Santa said.

This year, Portland police officers have become special elves.

“You put on a uniform, a badge, a gun, but you’re still human,” said Officer Chris Gervais of the Portland Police Department.

One by one they hit the streets to spread some holiday cheer. Gervais started by giving someone a hundred-dollar bill instead of a ticket for an expired inspection sticker.

And he ended his day with a visit to Susie Auger’s tiny one-room apartment. The single mother with a 1-year-old was stunned.

“I don’t even know how to react because nobody has ever handed me a one hundred dollar bill,” Auger said.

“It feels good to help out people,” Gervais said.

Next up was a traffic stop. The car was pulled over, but instead of a ticket, Belinda Miller received an early Christmas present, a present that was overwhelming.

“Thank you, thank you. It makes Christmas a lot easier. Thank you,” Miller said.

And for the Portland Police Department, it will make this Christmas one to remember.