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Shopping event pairs cops, kids
Local FOP lodge provides for some 135 children
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Forsyth County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Campbell checks in families for the annual Cops-N-Kids holiday shopping event Tuesday night at Walmart in Cumming. The annual holiday event organized by the local Fraternal Order of Police raised enough donations to take about 135 children shopping. - photo by Alyssa LaRenzie

Holding a toy in each hand, Chase decided not to decide.

He loaded both into a cart pushed by Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy Chris Palmer.

“This is the best Christmas ever,” the 9-year-old boy said.

For Chase, the Cops-N-Kids shopping trip was pretty much his visit from Santa Claus this year.

His mother recently lost her job as a paralegal and has been working as a waitress at a local restaurant to try and make ends meet.

Her three children didn’t expect much for the holidays. But on Tuesday night, each got $125 to buy anything they wanted from the Walmart on Market Place Boulevard — and with some help from a law enforcement shopping assistant armed with a calculator.

Organized by Sgt. D.P. Land Memorial Lodge No. 82 of the Fraternal Order of Police, the 15th annual holiday outing raised enough donations to take about 135 children shopping.

Palmer has gone on the annual trip just about every year, taking along wife Kim as his helper.

He said he enjoys Cops-N-Kids because it’s a good way “to do something for the community.”

Counselors in the local school system select the children. Palmer said the older kids usually pick out clothing, but younger ones tend to head straight to the toy aisles.

Officers followed behind the kids with calculators to keep them within budget and help them pick out items for the carts.

Cumming police officer Burrell Sullivan said he didn’t have to do much to help because the girl he took shopping was “smart” with her money.

She’d been shy through the whole trip and had barely said a word.

At the checkout counter, though, she looked up at Sullivan with a big grin and said “thank you.”