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Joplin and Seneca co-host shop with a cop - KOAM TV 7

Joplin and Seneca co-host shop with a cop

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Nearly 165 local kids shop with area cops for Christmas toys.

Joplin and Seneca school district counselors submitted names of children who may not have a gift under the tree this year. The children were then given a $100 gift card to Walmart and a shopping assistant, a local law enforcement officer.

"It's a chance for us to give back to the community, and a way for the kids who maybe wouldn't have had such a good Christmas, for us to reach out, but it wouldn't be possible without the generous donations of everybody that donates and the partnership with Walmart," captain Ryan West of Joplin PD said.

Many children selected Frozen-themed toys as well as Ninja Turtle action figures. Others opted for video games and new shoes.

"We get a lot of toys, a lot of technology, lots of stuff. I'm really thankful for shop with a cop," Dalton Fickle of Joplin said.

The event is meant to bridge the gap between kids and local police officers.

"We get to spend time with cops and I really need to get used to them because I'm really not used to them," Jesse Bantock of Seneca said.

Many officers volunteer year after year to be a shopping assistant.

"We, even in the little town of Seneca, are gonna run close to 85 children through here. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of money, it takes a lot of effort, we feel fortunate enough to be in a position to help these kids," Chief of Police James Altic said.

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