'Shop With Your Cops' event brings holiday cheer to 101 local kids
FARMINGTON — It isn’t unusual for law enforcement officers to be on target in an investigation, but on Dec. 3 they were literally at Target – the retail store – to spread Christmas cheer with 101 kids.
The kids, who came from all over the county, were invited to the annual San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Shop With Your Cops event, which pairs shoppers ages 2 through 15 with a law enforcement officer who helps them as they decide how to spend $125.
“The kids are encouraged to spend half of the money on necessities, such as clothing, shoes, and hygiene products, and the other half on fun items, such as toys and electronics,” organizers said in a news release. “Target provided eggs, biscuits, and gravy for all families in attendance as well as a goodie bag as they exited the building.”
Deputies were joined by officers from Bloomfield Police Department, Farmington Police Department, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the New Mexico State Police as the holiday shopping began.
“Shop With Your Cops is an amazing program that is rewarding for everyone involved and we are honored to help organize this event every year,” Sheriff Shane Ferrari said in a news release. “Events like this help us continue to build great relationships with the community that we serve every day.”
The event is sponsored by the department and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Foundation.
Participants were referred by government agencies and selected by a panel on the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Foundation board, the release noted. A lot of planning went into the annual event, and $13,000 was raised to make it happen.
The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Foundation raises money for the event year-round and depends on donations from both businesses and member of the community.
“Our Shop With Your Cops program is truly the most important program our Foundation supports,” San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Foundation Board President, Kelly Webb said “What a great way to start off the season of giving! It is always so heartwarming to see the smiles on these children's faces as they positively interact with law enforcement officers. Thank you to all that support this program!”