Lasting memory brings Huntingburg officer full circle during Cops and Kids

Huntingburg Officer Jorge Dubon and his shopping partner, Jendry, played dinosaurs as they waited to check out at the Walmart during the annual Cops and Kids event.

The last time Huntingburg Officer Jorge Dubon took part in Cops and Kids (formerly called Shop with a Cop) he was about three or four years old.

Though exact details are a bit fuzzy, he does remember how it made him feel to walk around with the police officers and their families as they shopped together.

“It was the coolest thing ever as a little kid,” Dubon said.

He also remembers riding up to the Moose Lodge and meeting Santa Claus.

His family has images from the day in a photo album at home.

It was his first real exposure to law enforcement, and that experience began shaping his future almost immediately. As a young kid, his favorite clothes commonly carried a law enforcement theme—even his shoes.

“I remember having these shoes that lit up blue and red; they were the coolest thing ever,” Dubon said.

Growing up in Huntingburg, his goal to become a police officer never waivered, and about two years ago, he joined Huntingburg’s Police Department. “I love it,” he said about being an officer in his hometown. “I know this sounds cliche, but I grew up wanting to be a cop, and I feel like it’s what I was meant to do.”

This year was his first opportunity to participate in Cops and Kids as a police officer.

“It was cool for me, and I wanted to be able to offer that to someone else,” Dubon explained.

It brought back those early memories as he showed his partner, Jendry, a special time today as they shopped at Walmart and then had lunch together. Dubon made sure Jendry had a great time during the entire event.

Here are a few photos of Dubon’s experience.

Organized by the Fraternal Order of Police #138 Wood Capital Lodge, the traditional Christmas outing pairing local law enforcement officers up with kids to go shopping has occurred since 2001 in Dubois County.

This year, 40 children were teamed up with officers and their family members for Cops and Kids. Funded through donations from community members, businesses and organizations, each child has a budget split between needs and wants. About 75 percent of the allotted shopping budget goes to needs like clothing, jackets, and shoes, with the remaining portion going to fun gifts each child selects.

After shopping, a police escort takes the children from Walmart to The Parklands for a chance to meet Santa Claus and have some lunch–this year, McDonald’s supplied 150 Happy Meals for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some photos of the event.

Marina, 3, waited to exit the charter bus and meet her shopping buddy during the Cops and Kids event held Wednesday.
Jasper Detective Greg Brescher and his wife, April, walk with their shopping partner, Tanner, 5, during the annual Cops and Kids event held Wednesday morning.
Dubois County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jesus Monarrez checks the size of a jacket his shopping partner, Madyson, 4, really liked. The two were paired as part of the annual Cops and Kids event held Wednesday morning.
Conservation Officer Jon Watkins and his partner, Prince, check out fishing lures. Prince, 3, grabbed a fishing rod as his first pick when they began perusing the toy aisles during the annual Cops and Kids event held Wednesday.
9-1-1 Communications Director Stuart Wilson was skeptical about his partner, Ryker’s, choice of toy while shopping together during the annual Cops and Kids event held Wednesday.
To everyone’s amusement, Zaxton, 4, Marina, 3, and Emily, 3, enjoyed a ride in an electronic car simulator while they waited to head to The Parklands.
Legend, 4, met with Santa Claus (played by Keith Bauer) at The Parklands Pavilion. He was partnered with Dubois County Jail Officer Drake Lechner.
Zoey took some time to let Santa Claus know what she would like for Christmas.
Trooper Kurtis Blunk allowed his partner, Alis, 5, to try on his hat while they ate lunch together at The Parklands Pavilion.