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Bonneville County law enforcement spread Christmas cheer during annual Shop with a Cop

Bonneville County Sheriff Sam Hulse shopping with a child at Target during Shop with a Cop Saturday morning. See the parade of patrol vehicles and Santa arriving in the video above. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
IDAHO FALLS – Dozens of onlookers watched as a parade of law enforcement vehicles pulled into the Target parking lot in Ammon with sirens blazing Saturday morning.
It was all part of the 29th annual Shop with a Cop. Santa arrived in a one-horse open sleigh to greet law enforcement and the kids as they arrived. Watch it in the video above.
Participating in the event were the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho Falls Police Department, Idaho State Police, Idaho Fish and Game and Chaplains of Idaho.
Sgt. Bryan Lovell with the BCSO tells EastIdahoNews.com they worked with the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center to provide Christmas for about 30 kids and their families.
“We find these kids that have been subject to abuse or traumatic situations where law enforcement has been involved. Those are the kids we want to pull into this and make it a good Christmas experience for them,” Lovell says.
The event started at the Eagles Lodge, where kids were paired with a law enforcement officer and treated to a hot breakfast.
A number of sponsors helped provide gift cards for a Target shopping spree. Each child got to ride in a patrol vehicle on the way as they were shown some of the features inside.
For 12-year-old Luke, that was the most exciting part of the day.
“We’re going to take the K9 car, so he gets to see where his dog gets to sit,” Deputy Auston Green, who was paired with Luke for the event, said Saturday morning. “Who doesn’t want to spread some Christmas cheer during the holidays and make someone else’s day better.”
Deputy Alisa Prudent has been involved with Shop with a Cop off and on for the last 22 years. She was paired with 5-year-old Remie this year, who requested a Magic Mixie for Christmas.

Deputy Prudent with 5-year-old Remie | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
Prudent’s favorite part of the event is interacting with the kids and seeing the kid’s faces light up as they experience the spirit of Christmas.
“Typically, when families call us, it’s not because they’re having a good day. It’s good to be able to interact with people for something positive,” says Prudent. “It’s early in the morning and you’re tired, but (the kids) bring so much joy and remind you what the spirit of Christmas is.”
Officer Justin Hegstrom, who has been involved in Shop with a Cop for the last seven or eight years, agrees, saying the excitement on the kid’s faces makes it all worth it.
For many of the officers and deputies participating in the event this year, it was their first time. Officer Darin Moulton was excited to be part of it after seeing the positive impact it’s had on the kids and fellow officers in previous years.
He was partnered with 7-year-old Ronin in search of a Jurassic Park Endoraptor.
Officer Hector Kistemann was equally excited, who was paired with 12-year-old Addison.
“I just thought it would be a good experience. It’s good interaction with the public. We love helping kids out … and picking out some gifts for their families,” says Kistemann.
Each family provided a Christmas list to law enforcement. After getting the items, they were escorted to the back of the store to wrap their gifts, have a treat and visit with Santa.
Remie was beaming as she found the Magic Mixies, and everyone had a smile on their face throughout the event.

Remie finds Magic Mixies at Target. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
“We look forward to this every year,” says Lovell. “It’s a special thing. It’s a great way to end the year. We may not know the negative situation these kids come from, but we know we’re a part of turning that into a positive thing (and we love it).”
Madison County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies hosted a similar event in Rexburg Saturday. Bingham County law enforcement hosted Shop with a Cop last weekend.

Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com

Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com

Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com

Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com

Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com

Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com
The post Bonneville County law enforcement spread Christmas cheer during annual Shop with a Cop appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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