AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - It's been almost two weeks since tragedy struck in Americus, when APD Officer Nick Smarr and Georgia Southwestern Officer Jody Smith were shot and killed.
Tuesday marked another step toward healing for fellow officers as the Americus Police Department held its first-ever 'Shop with a Cop' night.
Officers said the event was about making sure children in town had a happy holiday season and a positive image of law enforcement.
"This will give the kids and opportunity to shop for themselves, pick whatever they want," said Major Herman Lamar. "They can spend that $100 on themselves to be happy, healthy and have a positive experience with law enforcement."
After a bite to eat at the Roman Oven Pizzeria, police officers paired up with children, who might not be expecting a lot for Christmas, to buy them gifts at Walmart.
"It feels good," said attendee Jerry Lawrence. "It shows a lot of support for the community. What they're doing is really good for the kids. I think it's a great thing."
While many may have recently seen them at their bravest, engaged in a full out manhunt, officers want the community to understand they're just like everyone else.
"They need to see us as human beings that we are here to protect and serve," said Lamar. "We really do mean that. Protect and serve the least fortunate of our community as well as the more fortunate of our community."
Local businesses and churches made the event possible through donations.