Cops help kids check-off Christmas lists
For 21 years, Grand Junction police officers have been helping local children check-off items from their Christmas lists.
The 21st annual 'Shop With a Cop' event took place Wednesday morning at the Mesa Mall.
Organizers said it's a great way to give kids a chance to enjoy Christmas in a way they might not otherwise experience.
Eleven deserving children were paired with officers and given about $200 to buy gifts for themselves and family members.
Police officers said it's a great opportunity for the kids to take care of some holiday shopping, but the experience is rewarding for them as well.
"This is my second year doing it, I think it's a great opportunity for the kids to pick out some really neat gifts for their family," said Officer Rocky Balbozier with the Grand Junction Police Department.
"I feel blessed to be able to be part of it, to help out, and take a nice young man like this guy here [Colton Shaffer] and get some neat gifts for his family," added Balbozier.
KJCT spoke with Colton Shaffer, a student at Wingate Elementary School, who went shopping with Officer Balbozier Wednesday.
Colton said he was there to buy gifts for his grandparents, his mom and dad, and his cousin.
And of course, he was there to buy a few gifts for himself as well.
Some of the items Colton was looking for were, "New shoes, maybe a bike....and a Bronco jersey," said Shaffer.
Colton also received free breakfast and lunch before and after shopping.
Each of the children were given a chance to get their picture taken with Santa as well.
'Shop With a Cop' is made possible every year due to generous donations from the community, the Grand Junction Peace Officers Association and the Mesa Mall.
Eleven more elementary school students will get their chance to shop with a cop on December 19 at the Rim Rock Wal Mart.
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