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Lenawee County 'Shop with a Cop' unites children and local law enforcement

Lenawee County Sheriff's Office, along with other police departments, are taking children in need holiday shopping.

ADRIAN, Mich. — Shopping carts tend to be fuller around this time of year. At the Walmart in Adrian Saturday, kids will be filling the carts and law enforcement will be paying the bill.

The Lenawee County Sheriff's Office is holding its annual Shop with a Cop. For the 25th year the department will be taking middle schoolers and teens shopping for Christmas toys and needs. The department hopes to not only help make a child's Christmas, but to enrich the relationship between them. 

"So often law enforcement is viewed as a negative," said Captain Jake Pifer of the Lenawee County Sheriff's Office. "At any time families are out at a restaurant and see a police officer, it's 'Oh you better be good or that police officer is going to arrest you.' We don't want our relationship to be an adversarial one."

More than 60 children are expected to attend Saturday's event, each getting a $200 gift card. The department raised money and received donations throughout the year to ensure the day will be a special one. 

"It's very important for us to start early," Pifer said, in regard to building a positive healthy relationship with children. "If we start early, that means the relationships as they get older, and then they feel more eased, relaxed when they encounter us as adults."

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