HALFWAY, Md. (WDVM) — Twenty children in Washington County had their Christmas wishes come true on Thursday thanks to local law enforcement.
In a partnership between Walmart and several law enforcement agencies across the area, the kids were able to fill their Christmas lists and their shopping carts with the gifts they wanted the most this holiday. They also had the opportunity to shop not only for themselves but for their families too.
“Most of them do,” said Lieutenant Brian Kloos, commander of the Maryland State Police’s Hagerstown Barrack. “That’s the really nice thing about it, they’re not selfish. The kids will buy things for their parents, their little brothers, and sometimes aunts and uncles.”
The kids truly got into the spirit of giving during the event. Eight-year-old Hailie even said her favorite part of the night was sharing her brand-new tea set and getting a toy for her little sister.
“I got her a little unicorn doll,” Hailie said, adding that unicorns are her sister’s favorite animal.
Officers said this night is about so much more than the gifts, and forms a positive relationship between the kids and police, and also between the police and the community at large.
“I think it’s important just to see law enforcement in a different role,” said Emily Brown, a Maryland State Police trooper. “They get to hang out with us and it puts a positive spin on things.”
“It just cheers everyone up,” Maia Eichelberger, another MSP trooper, added. “Everyone that’s in Walmart tonight gets to see everybody smiling. It’s kind of contagious.”
The state police budget accounts for the spending done during the “Shop with a Cop” event. However, according to Lieutenant Kloos, officers will even pull from their own money to get the kids everything on their lists.