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Local police help give a local kids early Christmas cheer

December 22, 2021 / By Lisa Verdin

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By Kevin Gonzalez Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 10:44 PM CST

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Christmas is just a few days away, and many family’s kids will be opening their presents to see what they got this year.

Some kids got a little Christmas cheer early when they went shopping with members of the Sioux Falls Police Department Wednesday during the third year of the Badges and Friends shopping event.

“It’s a great interaction with the kids, I know the officers look forward to it every year, it’s a way for them to give back to the community, hang out with some kids, and have some fun doing it,” said Officer Kyle Johnson, of the Sioux Falls Police Department.

The officers aren’t the only ones who look forward to the shopping event.

“The kids are absolutely thrilled, especially when they get to come and actually get to do the experience themselves and actually get to pick out what they want or if they want to give a gift to somebody else, said Amanda Rensch, Boys, and Girls Club Development and Events Coordinator. “Just the expression on their face is priceless.”

What’s just as special as the presents are making a memory with police officers.

“Their super thrilled and excited to be able to do this and have a police officer accompany them is really special,” said Rensch.

Many kids not only get themselves something but try to spread the holiday cheer themselves.

“It’s an awesome feeling, some individuals aren’t able to buy a lot of toys for the holidays,” said Johnson. “Also, these kids are actually buying a lot of essential items and not just toys from them, toys for the brothers and sisters or something for their mom and dad.”

For the officers involved, work can often be stressful, but events like this help to bring a smile to their faces.

“A bunch of police work is going to some type of crisis or something bad that happened, so it’s always nice to have this type of interaction with individuals, where we just get to have a really positive interaction,” said Johnson.

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