Annual event shines light on kids teaming up with cops for Christmas cheer

Conservation Officer Tony Mann and Skylar, 5, head into Walmart for Cops and Kids. The annual event pairs children enrolled in Tri-Cap’s Head Start program with a local law enforcement officer for a shopping trip.

As the SUVs and vans full of kids arrived at Walmart they were met by uniformed officers from all the local law enforcement departments.

As part of Cops and Kids, each officer had one of the 51 children as a partner to go through Walmart shopping for needed clothes before heading over to the toy department for some fun items of each child’s choice. Each child had about $150 available to use for the gifts they would take home.

Most officers enjoy the annual event but some have an interesting time attempting to discern whether Paw Patrol is still cool enough for their partner or if they should be looking at some Marvel-themed items. Some male officers rely on their spouse or significant other to pick out girls clothing items.

In all, it’s a fun event designed to build relations between police officers and children sponsored through the Fraternal Order of Police Wood Capitol Lodge 138.

Indiana State Trooper Chad Dick poses for the camera with his shopping partner, Ryan, 4, during Cops and Kids, the annual event teaming local officers up with kids for a shopping trip for Christmas presents.

The participating children are usually members of Tri-Cap’s Head Start program – a preschool program available for at-risk children.

In addition to the FOP, Walmart and Maurices are big donors for the program. Due to new laws regarding the transportation of preschool children on school buses, Ruxer Ford Lincoln donated the use of several SUVs and vans for transportation to Walmart.

After shopping for about an hour, the children were taken to the Jasper Moose in a caravan that included a police escort with lights and sirens. There they enjoyed lunch and a visit with Santa Claus.

The participating departments include Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Huntingburg, Ferdinand and Jasper Police Departments, Indiana Conservation Officers, Jasper dispatchers, jail officers, community corrections, probation officers and the Dubois County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

Photos below.

Jasper officer David Julian and Kathryn, 4, check out some toys at Walmart during Cops and Kids, the annual event teaming local police officers up with kids to shop for Christmas presents.

Ryder, 3, hid on a lower shelf at Walmart during Cops and Kids, the annual event teaming local officers up with kids to go shopping for Christmas gifts.

Keaira, 5, shined Jasper Detective Greg Brescher’s flashlight up onto the Walmart ceiling while waiting to leave the store Wednesday during Cops and Kids. The annual event the annual event teams local police officers up with kids to shop for Christmas presents.

Corrections officer Hannah Merter and her partner, Zayd, 3, considered what toys to look at during Cops and Kids, the annual event teaming local officers up with kids to shop for Christmas presents.

Hope, 4, gushed about the unicorn toy she was able to pick out during Cops and Kids, the annual event teaming local officers up with kids to shop for Christmas presents.

Landon, 3, examined the lightsabre he picked out while waiting to check out at Walmart during Cops and Kids, the annual event teaming local officers up with kids to shop for Christmas presents.

Jasper Detective Martin Loya and his partner Jonathan, 4, roared at Conservation Officer Tony Mann during the annual Cops and Kids event today.

One Response to Annual event shines light on kids teaming up with cops for Christmas cheer

  1. Jeremy Kibby December 7, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

    Always love to see images of this each year. Good job guys!

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