Phoenix officers take kids on $200 holiday shopping spree - FOX 35 News Orlando

Phoenix officers take kids on $200 holiday shopping spree

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PHOENIX -

We're used to seeing them protect our city, but some Phoenix children witnessed the softer side of police officers.

On Tuesday morning, Santa took a chopper instead of a sleigh and Phoenix police officers traded in patrol cars for shopping carts.

It's all part of the Phoenix police annual "Shop with a Cop" event with Target.

Some of these 62 children were chosen for academic achievements or because they wouldn't get presents otherwise.

What is it like to go shopping with a police officer?

"Really fun," said Nathaniel Layton.

Officer Justin Martin says, "As he's going through, the glow..eyes get really big..it's awesome, it's basically playing Santa Claus with a badge on."

The kids play Santa Claus too -- they all ended up spending more money on their family members than on themselves.

"I wanted to be nice because they have nothing for Christmas," said Anthony Stilson.

Melissa Galvan adds, "My parents have done so much for me.  I just wanna pay them back."

The kids each received $200 to spend, but often times, the officers buy them items so they have more money to spend on their loved ones.

11-year-old Melissa only bought herself one present -- a pair of Rollerblades, so Officers Ben Carro and Jonathan McLaughling paid for her helmet and pads.

"She's only got a limited amount of money.  She's buying Rollerblades, so to spend the rest of her money just buying pads didn't seem fair..didn't seem right," said McLaughlin.

After picking out all the presents, officers even showed off their wrapping skills.

A few hours with officers made a memory that will last forever and completed Christmas for 62 kids.

If you'd like to donate:
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association
1102 W. Adams St.
Phoenix AZ 85007
www.azplea.com

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