By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND- Rarely do you find a uniformed officer out toy shopping, but on Friday, local law enforcement was out patrolling the lanes of Target for Barbies and bicycles. The annual "Shop with a Cop" event was sponsored by the Midland Deputy Sheriff's Association.
President Ken Colston says, "Have you ever been walking through the parking lot and you're next to a uniformed officer and you hear a parent tell a kid, 'You'd better be good or else I'll tell the cops to put you in jail?' I hear that all the time. We do not like that. That portrays us as the 'bad guys'. We're not the bad guys. This is bonding time for law enforcement and kids to show the kids that we're not bad guys."
The event brings in 30 kids from the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) and arms each one with a $100 gift card. Kids from the CAC have oftentimes grown up too quickly after having dealt with major crises. An hour long shopping spree at Target can help them feel their true ages again.
Midland County Sheriff's Office Investigator, Bobby Neal, says, "They usually come in the store and they're a little shy with whoever they're guardian is, but when they leave they just have these big, bright smiles on their faces."
The Midland County Sheriff's Office, Department of Public Safety, Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement volunteered their time.