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Officers grant holiday wishes
Local kids get to shop with a cop
A-Shop with a Cop pic1
Officer William Thacker sorts through Hot Wheel cars with two children participating in Fridays Shop with a Cop event at Walmart. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson County News

Little Mason Blake arrived at Walmart Friday afternoon with a plan.

"I'm getting a new bike," the 5-year-old said as Dawson County Sheriff's Inv. Jeremy Thompson loaded the orange two-wheeler into a shopping cart.

Armed with $100 gift cards, Mason and his two brothers were among nearly 60 local children participating in the department's annual Shop with a Cop Christmas program.

Their mom called the program a holiday blessing.

"For me, it's difficult because they lost their dad last year," Angela Blake said. "My boys do get benefits from their father, because he was in the Navy for 12 years, but it's still hard, because everything goes toward the bills and clothes and the things they need."

She said the sheriff's office and program supporters will never know how much their generosity means to her and the boys ages three, five and seven.

"I really do appreciate it. I feel obliged that they have chosen my children. All I can say is thank you," she said.

Capt. Tony Wooten said more than 20 deputies, their spouses and sheriff's office staff stepped up to shop with the kids this year.

"We always think it's going to be fun for the kids, but it's us that get the blessings. Again this year, we had a little girl that was shopping for her family instead of herself," he said. "We did try to make sure she picked something for herself to take home for Christmas."

The Shop with a Cop event is funded through a combination of donations from community organizations and individuals.

Additional monetary contributions rolled in Friday afternoon when shoppers, like Bobby Canecchio and his 5-year-old daughter Abagail, saw officers with the kids.

"We had no idea what they were doing," he said. "We just saw them walking around and asked how we could help. We've been so blessed."