Police officers shopped with area children as they searched for Christmas presents this week.
In the program's third year, Lutheran Social Services provide officers with a list of participating children. Then one officer is paired with a child for the shopping spree as they look for presents -- typically for mom and dad.
Kmart and Target participated in the program. Kmart opened its Baxter store early for the 7 a.m. shopping spree. Target will do the same this Saturday. The children buy presents with money donated by the stores and employees.
Mary Egan, Lakes Area Law Enforcement Committee vice president, said one of the benefits is the children gain knowledge and understanding of police officers as people, particularly at this holiday time.
"They are out there -- just like you and I -- and they want to help," Egan said of law enforcement officers.
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