60 children receive gifts from West Memphis officers

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - Sixty children were hand picked by West Memphis schools, Angel Tree networks, and foster care programs to take part in Shop with a Cop.

It's an annual community outreach event West Memphis Police Department looks forward to taking part in during the holiday season.

"It's trying to get more community buy-in, trying to get children to better support the police department and know we're their friends and not here for bad reasons, so this serves lots of good benefits for us and for the children of the city," West Memphis Police Department Captain Joe Baker said.

It's the second year sergeant Spencer Morris and D.J. have shopped together which makes them practically brothers.

"He's a lot of fun. He knows what he wants when he comes in here. He's a big Star Wars fan. He's already wanting to take them out of the package and play with them," sergeant Spencer Morris said.

To pay for this shopping spree, West Memphis Police Department started last month during No Shave November, collecting donations for children as they grew out their beards. Walmart also helped out by donating through their grant program.

"We actually had about 30 officers participate so that was about $3,000 from the police department, patrol officers, and detectives that supported this also," said Baker.

This unique opportunity to shop with a cop puts a smile on these little faces and gives these officers a Christmas gift as well.

"It helps us build a relationship with them and just seeing them happy and being able to make them happy makes us happy," Morris said.

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