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Wake Forest Police Capture Xmas Happiness for Local Kids

Last night the annual Shop-With-A-Cop (SWAC) program rolled into Walmart. Absolutely not to be confused with SWAT.

The program was birthed years ago by Wake Forest Police Detectives Kim Warren and Cindy Perry as a way for the WFPD to offer another awesome community service.

For more on this fantastic program and inside details, see this story.

The premise of the program is WFPD helps special Wake Forest children pick out $175 in holiday gifts and the kids pick how they want to spend it. They often use part of that money to buy gifts for others and as we observed some of the officers reach into their own pockets to help out as well. We would be remiss if we forgot to mention the generosity and cooperation of the Wake Forest Walmart in supporting this program.

The mission last night at Xmas dark thirty was to roll up in a bus with kids and cops and get the shopping on.

First to arrive in the back of a squad car was a jolly man. Like that ever happens that much.

Santa only had one reindeer last night and his name was not Prancer. The sleigh had a blue flashing nose.

Santa only had one reindeer last night and his name was not Prancer. The sleigh had a blue flashing nose.

After entering the store it looked like a traffic enforcement unit would be required as cops, kids, and carts all competed for the same space. Everyone was excited to get their shopping game on.

Detective Sattler dropped Orlando into a cart and made an end run around other officers.

Detective Sattler using his best driving skills to rapidly transport Orlando to the good stuff.

Detective Sattler using his best shopping cart driving skills to rapidly transport Orlando to the good stuff. “Hold on.”

The shopping began and officers were not only tasked with watching over the kids, helping them pick out gifts, being awesome friends, but also keeping tabs on how much was being spent. Multitasking at its finest.

Officer Hayes has an eye on the cost and starts to tally up gifts. while X makes selections.

Officer Hayes has an eye on the cost and starts to tally up gifts.

Even Wake Forest Police Chief Jeff “Little Pony” Leonard was in on the action. With help from his daughter he assisted in selecting the right Little Pony for his new friend.

Chief Leonard unveils his magical Little Pony shopping skills as his daughter looks on with wonder.

Chief Leonard unveils his magical Little Pony shopping skills as his daughter wonders how he knows this stuff.

Soon kids, and shopping, and cops, and smiles were busting out all across the toy section. Officer Dillard even had to pursue his shopping partner as he wisely sped up his shopping on a Razor scooter.

Officer Dillard in hot pursuit.

Officer Dillard in hot pursuit.

But the shopping event required police skills as well. Officer Bitting is seen utilizing his best SWAT negotiation skills to help Camille understand buying chocolate was not part of the deal.

"I feel your pain and sympathize but this isn't going to end well," though Bitting.

“I feel your pain and sympathize but this isn’t going to end well,” thought Bitting.

The best kids outfit of the night had to go to little Dominic with Officer Albert. Dominic’s shirt said “It’s All Fun and Games Until Santa Finds Out.”

Dominic and Officer Albert end shopping with a smile.

Dominic and Officer Albert both enjoyed the event with big smiles.

Lt. Mote helped Rylan pick out lots of toys.

Lt. Mote and Rylan listen to what the toy says.

Lt. Mote and Rylan listen to what the toy says.

Mote did his best to use his skills as a toy whisperer and resisted the urge to break out into a full rendition of “What Does the Fox Say.”

After about an hour in the store things began to wind up and checkout ensued. Jhadin was entirely excited about his haul.

Jhadin gets his game on.

Jhadin gets his game on.

By the end of the shopping both Sgt. May and Travon had become friends and thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Sgt. May and Travon, with a little Vader in the cart, tell us how much fun they both had at the event.

Sgt. May and Travon, with a little Vader in the cart, tell us how much fun they both had at SWAC.

Just being there and watching both the cops and kids we think they both equally enjoyed the experience as a community. The uniforms melted away as the officers just became amazing friends to Wake Forest kids who deserved a bit of Christmas cheer.

You don’t have to love the police to just appreciate good people doing good things.

So next time you see a Wake Forest Police Officer out and about, wish them a Merry Christmas and give them a wave. It’s a gift they’d love to get.

Val shows off her Barbie loot after shopping it all out.

Val shows off her Barbie loot after shopping it all out.

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