PHOENIX -- The third annual Shop With a Cop event took place at the Christown Target Tuesday morning.
Phoenix Police Officers and members of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) donated their time and money in a continuing effort to make a positive difference in the lives of the youth of Phoenix.
Officers took more than 30 Phoenix children from all over the city shopping for Christmas. The children were selected by Phoenix Police Community Action officers, School Resource Officers, or other Phoenix Police Patrol Officers.
"Phoenix Police Officers see so much through the year with children who are less fortunate or not living in the best of circumstances," PLEA president Joe Clure said. "This is yet another opportunity for Phoenix Police Officers to give back to their community and help form a positive police image for Phoenix children. We want them to know that we care."
"This is my third time participating in this event and I wouldn't miss it for the world," said one of the officers.
The day started with breakfast, followed by a visit with "Blue Santa Claus," who arrived in a police helicopter. After that, it was time to shop. Each child was given $150 to spend on whatever he or she wanted.
"It's touching how each year, the children will buy gifts for their parents, siblings but have to be encouraged by their officers to buy gifts for themselves," Clure said.
The Shop With a Cop event would not be possible without generous donations from the event sponsors, including Target, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association/PLEA Charities, Phoenix Police Chiefs and Commanders, and community supporters.
Police departments in several other Valley cities put on similar events. Scottsdale officers, for example, will be taking dozens of kids shopping at Wal-Mart this weekend.