REXBURG — Upper Valley and Teton Valley law enforcement teamed up with area kids Saturday morning to make sure they got a decent Christmas.
The annual Shop With A Cop event provided an early morning wake-up call Saturday as dozens of kids got to ride down Main Street Rexburg in patrol cars with the sirens on at the crack of dawn.
“Shop With A Cop is just joy,” Madison County Sheriff Rick Henry said. “The joy you see on the kids face, the opportunity that we have to give back to those who are needy in some way or another.”
Rexburg’s Shop With A Cop brings in law enforcement officers from Madison, Jefferson, Fremont, Teton and Clark counties to shop with children who otherwise may not have been able to have a Christmas.
Rexburg Police Lt. Colin Erickson is one of the organizers of the event. He said this year close to 70 kids went shopping with officers. The kids get to choose a gift and get to pick out gifts for their families, representing some 350 to 400 people in the Upper Valley and Teton Valley.
In addition to shopping and the patrol vehicle parade — the kids and officers also ate breakfast at McDonalds.
Erickson said for over 20 years local law enforcement have organized Shop With A Cop, which gives them the chance to do a “great” and “positive” service for the children and bring smiles to their faces. He said it allows the kids to experience the good side of law enforcement.
“We are out there to help and we want (the kids) to know that we’re there for them if they ever need us,” Erickson said.
Henry said for him the greatest part is seeing when the kids are focused on their mom and dad or siblings. “They get it,” he said.
“As early as it is in the morning by the time you get done it’s like that moment where you’re like ‘I’m so glad that I was able to be part of that,’” Henry said.