Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -It will definitely be a merry Christmas for several dozen Rochester families,thanks to the efforts of local law enforcement officers and businesses.

The 14th annual Shop with a Cop event was held Saturday at the north Walmart store and it was a special day for 75 children and their families. Police Sgt. Ryan Manguson says 60 fellow officers, Olmsted County deputies, community service officers, detention deputies, and Rochester Police Explorers  took part this year. Sheriff Kevin Torgerson also helped out.

Manguson says the 75 children in need are selected by the Rochester School District. He says the children pair up with an officer and shop throughout Walmart for holiday gifts. Each child is given a $110 gift card to purchase gifts for themselves and family members. He says the child is encouraged to budget their money to purchase a gift for each person on their holiday list. He says participants and officers are also treated with lunch from Sam’s Club, ice cream from Culver’s, a tour of police vehicles, K-9 demonstrations, and end with gifts wrapped and ready for Christmas.

Manguson says the goal of Shop with a Cop is to provide kids in need the opportunity to have a brighter Christmas and at the same time promoting positive relationships between police officers and area youth.

Over 700 children and their families have taken part since the event began and the gift card total has risen to $90,000.

The event is organized by the Rochester Police Activity League and is sponsored by Canadian Honker, City Auto Glass, Rochester Police Benevolent Association, Olmsted County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Culver’s.

Hear about the serious crime spree in Rochester Saturday?  Check it out.

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