Shop with a Cop brings holiday joy to 21 families

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Perry Volunteer Fire Department 2016 Rookie of the Year Marion Lehman, right, sported an oversize Dr. Seuss hat while her young shopper opted for a fur-lined hoodie Saturday during the Shop with a Cop fun.

About two dozen Perry-area peace officers — plus firefighters and paramedics — gathered at the Perry Elementary School lunch room Saturday morning for the annual Shop with a Cop program in Perry.

They were soon joined by lots of local families with kids eager for some team Christmas shopping at Ben’s Five and Dine, Shopko and the Dollar General Store, this year’s merchant sponsors.

Perry Police Department Detective Laura Deaton, who coordinated the shopping spree, said the program took 21 kids shopping this year thanks to the community’s donations of about $5,000. The Before the Turkey Soup Supper raised anther $2,000, Deaton said.

“I was incredibly happy with the turn out and results,” said the six-year veteran of the Perry PD. “It’s so important to interact with the public, especially kids!”

The first order of business Saturday was making a wish list, with children pairing off with public safety agents to brainstorm gift ideas. The youngsters had first to choose gifts for each member of their families before planning on ones for themselves.

Once the shopping lists were complete, the teams set out for a quick breakfast before hitting the local stores. When all the presents were bought, the shoppers and coppers returned to the Perry Elementary School to wrap the gifts for Christmas morning.

Joining the Perry Police Department and the Perry Volunteer Fire Department in this year’s Shop with a Cop were agets from the Woodward Police Department, Urbandale Police Department and Dallas County EMS.

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