CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Dozens of Cape Coral police officers swarmed a local Walmart today. But it wasn't for a scary situation. It was to shop with children in need.
Cameron Durlacher is looking at shoes, and with him is a special helper. "I'm pretty excited!" he said.
Cameron is one of 40 Cape Coral kids, getting to shop with a cop for Christmas. And while they shopped for themselves, many of the children, like Cameron, said they were excited to buy items for their family. "I get to spend money on my family and get them money to get them what they've really been wanting," he said.
This is the 10th year for Shop with a Cop. Local families who need a little extra help applied in advance for the opportunity. Each of the families gets $50.00 donated by Walmart. And when that money runs out, the officers will often donate money out of their own pockets.
"They'll do the shopping, and then they're out of 50 really quick and then cop will say go ahead, here's a couple (dollars). They take care of them. A couple of years, they go home to put gifts under a tree. But there isn't a tree, and I've seen them go out and buy a tree on their own and bring it back," said Lt. Tony Sizemore.
Andy Hernandez can't believe he gets this special opportunity. "I'm looking for watches or clothes," he said.
And while they purchase gifts, the officers are also building relationships and pointing these kids in the right direction.
"I wouldn't want to get in the back of the car! And I wouldn't ever want to be arrested," said Hernandez.