Hermantown, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Christmas came early for nearly two dozen Northland middle school students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to give gifts this holiday season.
Hermantown Police made the holidays a little brighter for some deserving middle school students.
It's not everyday you get to Christmas shop with your neighborhood cop.
But for Hermantown Middle School students, Courtnie and Sarah, that's just what they did.
"It makes me feel happy to shop with a cop."
The duo is part of twenty other kids who made their way through the aisles of the Hermantown Walmart checking things off their Christmas List.
From turtles to tiaras the options were endless.
"I think my older, but my younger brother would like Lego's, he has tons of them. He and I like to play with them together."
Now in its 9th year, the Hermantown "Shop with a Cop" program gives deserving kids a chance to buy gifts for loved ones while working side by side with a community officer.
"This is such a change of pace for us, it's like, you don't get to do this very often. I look forward to this every year and so do the other officers involved, it's a great event for our school kids," said Deputy Chief Shawn Padden, Hermantown Police Department.
Even the officers were getting into the holiday shopping spirit.
"We've got some jewelry, we got some remote control items, you know dolls for sisters, these guys are doing a great job, I'm going to give them my list to go do," said Padden.
They say whether its spending money or quality time, the interaction means the most.
"It really does lift the spirits of these kids to get to see their reaction on just getting to be out and having a positive time with the police officer that they might not get to see or meet otherwise in a positive way," said officer Lisa Perich, Hermantown Police Department
Shop with a Cop, an opportunity to build trust between kids and their neighborhood police officer.
The annual 'Shop with a Cop' program is a community collaboration between Bernick's Companies, Walmart and the Hermantown Police Department.