Eight lucky students went on a special shopping spree with police officers in Kalispell Wednesday as Target played host to the Columbia Falls Police Department’s 18th annual Shop with a Cop event.
The event got underway as the kids got a ride from Columbia Falls to Target in a patrol car, followed by more than two hours of shopping with officers, City Judge Kristi Curtis and City Court Clerk Lacey Pederson.
“It’s been really fun for us to be able to bring the kids out and do this kind of event. A police officer’s job can deal with a lot of negatives, so it is great to be involved with a positive program like this one,” officer Jared Haddenham said.
The kids, age 5-12, were selected from a list of deserving nominees selected by area schools and together got to select more than $2,400 in merchandise. Baskets were not only filled with toys and electronics as the children left the store, but also shirts, socks, shoes and winter boots and coats.
The Children and their families got one final surprise once the shopping was done as they were told that Super 1 Foods in Columbia Falls would be providing each family with a fully-cooked Christmas dinner, as they have been doing for the program for several years.
“Through the years, the goal has always been the same, to provide children in need with a memorable Christmas. Without everyone working together, this program would not be possible,” Angela Burns of the Columbia Falls Police Department said.