Kids team up with law enforcement at “Shop with a Cop” this holiday season

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(ABC 6 News) – The 19th annual “Shop with a Cop” took place Saturday afternoon and there were a lot of happy kids at the Rochester Walmart.

Local school districts chose 65 kids for this year’s event, and they were paired up with an officer from Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office or the Minnesota State Patrol to go holiday shopping.

“Most of the kids have some type of needs that wouldn’t normally be able to afford to buy presents for their family and siblings and that type of stuff,” explained Officer James Marsolek with RPD.

Many of the kids knew just what their family members would want.

Serenity, one of the shoppers, said for her grandparents, mom and uncles, she is buying them a “…monster truck, slime kit and a bike.”

Courtesy of businesses and organizations like Rochester Police Benevolent Association, Olmsted County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, Canadian Honker, Walmart and Sam’s Club, each child had $110 to spend.

Lists in hand, each child was determined to get everyone in their family something special for Christmas.

For many, the shopping was not the only part they enjoyed.

Sophea, 16 years old, said that her favorite part was getting to spend time with Officer Charlie Arendts with RPD.

The officers involved say it was a special time as well.

“My favorite part is just enjoying the time with the kids and being able to spread some holiday cheer,” explained Officer Arendts. “This is my seventh year doing it and it’s a wonderful experience.”

Once everyone had checked off everything on their lists, it was time to head to ‘Santa’s Workshop,’ complete with elves to help wrap all of the presents.

With all the presents wrapped and ready to go, now all that the kids have to do is contain their excitement until Christmas.

“If my moms watching this, I wanna say thank you Raven Johnson do not look at the things I got for you,” added shopper Nigel. “It’s not like I have anything right here!”