On Thursday night, dozens of police officers teamed up to shop for some of the neediest children in the state.
With sirens and lights going, the officers made their way to the Southington Target.
“I wouldn’t miss it. I think we have more fun than the kids,” said Connecticut State Trooper First Class Dave Devito, who added that this year is his third participating in the Reach Foundation’s Shop with a Cop event.
On Thursday night, 50 children from around the state participated.
“Some of these kids have it rough. They come from underprivileged families. It’s just a great feeling to know we can make a difference in their lives,” Devito said.
The children turned the aisles at Target into their very own holiday wonderland.
“I like to shop with the cops. They’re nice to me,” said 9-year-old Leah Whipple.
Each child was given a budget they could use to splurge on whatever gift they wanted. Some already had a list before they walked into Target, asking for items like a doll house or a “smart parrot.”
Some children, like Isabella Weiss, even found items for family members.
“They actually learn to give back because they help the officer purchase a present to take back to their service area and donate,” said Kelly Stuper of The Reach Foundation.
In addition to state police, officers from New Britain, Southington, Farmington and Cheshire also joined in and volunteered their time for the event.
“This shows our lighter side. We have families. We have issues but we put those aside and make a difference for these kids,” Devito said.
The children were also able to get their photo taken with Santa.
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