HENRICO COUNTY, Va -- Holiday shopping is always a journey of choices, but for families that are economically disadvantaged, those choices can be limited. Sunday morning, the Henrico Fraternal Order of Police provided a special Christmas shopping spree for certain disadvantaged families.
Dozens of law enforcement officers from Henrico and New Kent toured the Walmart on Brook Road and bought the children clothing, essential items, and even toys.
"We identify kids who are in financial need and are good kids. We just try to help them any way we can during the holiday season," said Sgt. Jim Livingstone with Henrico Police.
"I've cried about five times," said mother Jessica James.
The Cops and Kids program is in its 17th year in Henrico. Funding for the program is provided by local businesses.
Nationally, tensions between law enforcement and the public are high following a pair of highly publicized incidents in which police officers killed unarmed black men.
Organizers said Cops and Kids is one method of community policing that can have long-term results.
"We hope that this program actually breaks down the wall between the police and the community," said Sgt. Livingstone.
"We don't want our kids to be angry and evil and believe that the people that are here to help us are hurting us," said James, adding that the police did nothing but bring her son joy on Sunday.