The East State Street Target in Rockford was swarming with Rockford Police officers this morning. It wasn’t to fight crime, but rather, to check off some items on Christmas lists for the Presents with the Police Benevolent and Protective Association event.
“I think every kid should get their dream,” said Parent Jeanetha Peters.
Over eighty kids and their families woke up bright and early Saturday morning. They excitedly filed inside Target to Christmas shop with a Rockford cop. The men and women in blue were just as excited.
“It’s just a thrill every year to come out and be able to shop with the kids and help provide them a better Christmas,” said Assistant Deputy Chief of Investigations Carla Redd.
“A lot of our night shifters came directly after work,” said Police Benevolent and Protective Association President Matthew Williams. “There’s probably ten to twelve or fifteen of them that showed up with their families.”
Each officer walked the aisles with their shopper, armed with one-hundred dollars to spend.
“The families and kids that otherwise wouldn’t have such a nice Christmas,” said Asst. Dep. Chief Reed. “We’re able to go out and not just get some things that they want but definitely things that they need.”
Everyone hit the shelves, looking for the best deals and the best gifts for their loved ones, and of course themselves too.
“I got pants, I got shirts for me and my brother and pants and blue jeans,” said young shopper, Tayvion Moton.
“I think it’s pretty exciting for them to have their own opinion and go out and get what they want,” said Peters.
Kids ended their shopping spree accomplished with giant bags that were filled. The kids’ carts and officers’ hearts were full. Rockford Police Benevolent and Protective Association President, Matthew Williams, hopes this experience leaves a long lasting impact between the officers and the community.
“It’s a very important relationship at this age. They’re seeing some good things come from us versus always seeing the bad things and the negative side of us,’ said President Williams.
A total of 84 kids showed up to the event.