Phoenix cops take deserving kids on Christmas shopping spree

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PHOENIX -- Dozens of police officers took more than 30 deserving students on a special shopping spree at Target Tuesday.

It's the first time the Phoenix Police Department has taken part in Shop With a Cop, which is organized by the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA).

The kids and cops gathered before sunrise at the Target at 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road for breakfast and to await the arrival of none other than Santa Claus. Because snow is not something we have here in the Valley of the Sun, Santa, dressed in blue just for this event, arrived by helicopter. He was dressed in blue to represent the Phoenix Police Department officers.

The kids who were selected for the Shop With a Cop program are from families that are in need of assistance, but that's not all. These kids, all of whom are between the ages of 8 and 14, are the best of the best, doing well in school and active in their communities.

Each child had $200 to spend however they wanted, and it was hard to know who had more fun -- the kids or the officers who donated their time.

In past years, children who took part in Shop With a Cop spent more money on gifts for their families than on things for themselves.

According to PLEA, this year's program will benefit 200 at-risk kids.