And the officers and deputies were helping them. It was the annual Shop With a Cop event sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police.
Personnel from Alcoa, Maryville police departments and Blount County Sheriffs Office, as well as the McGhee Tyson Airport police, Emergency 911 Communications center personnel and area firefighters each paired with a youngster. The uniformed officers walked the aisles, pushed buggies and talked with the children while they picked out items for themselves and for family members.
After they finished their shopping sprees, each child watched as the volunteers wrapped their presents at the front of the store.
The youngsters each had $125 to spend, and the officers helped them
keep track of how much they had left after they put items in their
buggies. There were 123 children participating in the event. The F.O.P.
collected funds throughout the year and how much they raised determined
how many youngsters they were able to help. Beside giving deserving
children a good Christmas, officials said the event, which started in
Blount County in 1989, also helps forge friendships between the
officers and the children.