Thomasville police officers take kids Christmas shopping - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville police officers take kids Christmas shopping

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December 7, 2006

Thomasville-- Tonight it wasn't just jolly old St. Nick handing out gifts to children. Thomasville Police officers got in on the spirit of Christmas with the Shop With A Cop program.  "Its an opportunity to interact. To get to know some kids. To do something positive, especially at Christmas time and just have fun," says Captain Mark Scott.

Each child in the program gets paired with a police officer. The evening started out at Ryan's, so each kid gets to know their cop while enjoying dinner.  "We actually sat down and looked at each child to find out some of their likes or dislikes and we paired them up with an officer they'd be more compatible with," says Sgt. Ricky Singletary. 

When 7th grader Shyla Shields found out she was going to participate in the program she was thrilled.   "My mom told me, and like when she told us we fell down," Shyla says.  And the officers seem to enjoy it just as much as the children.  "I just enjoy volunteering to do this each year. It's a lot of fun to get to know the kids," says Scott. 

After dinner, it's on to Wal-Mart. Each officer and child gets 100 dollars to spend for their Christmas list.   Captain Scott says, "usually they know who they wanna shop for, so we try to make sure that everyone on their list gets a gift, and that they get something as well."

Shyla knows exactly what she's shopping for.  "Something to make my cousin's behave. Something to make Chris behave, my little brother. And something we can all play," she says.

And that spirit of togetherness is what everyone involved is saying Christmas is all about.  Each child also got a jacket donated by J-C Penny.

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