Officer 'elves' enforce fun with youngsters on shopping spree
Santa's elves traveled from the North Pole, landed at the Lawton airport and arrived at Target to shop for Christmas gifts with local children Tuesday evening.
The elves didn't look like themselves, for they grew three feet taller, dressed in blue uniforms and wore shiny badges.
Lawton Police Sgt. Timothy Jenkins revealed the true identity of the "elves" as he welcomed everyone to Shop with a Cop, an annual event in which the elves police officers steered shopping carts down the aisles as children oohed and ahhed at the endless items they could place under the tree for their families on Christmas morning.
Jenkins said throughout the year, the Lawton Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) raises money and collects donations from local businesses to fund Shop with a Cop.
This year, 20 elementary students from Lawton Public Schools received $100 each to buy presents for their families, furry friends and themselves. Parents had the option to shop alongside their children and the cops or to let the kids shop by themselves with the cops.
Target employees wearing red Santa hats gave the children goodie bags and provided free gift wrapping for the children who bought presents for loved ones.
Ten-year-old Aiden Chacon, a student at John Adams Elementary School, shopped with Deputy Chief William Hines for toys and games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that he can share with his younger sisters and younger brother.
"These are my first Yu-Gi-Oh! cards," Chacon said. "It's kind of like PokÈmon. ... If PokÈmon races Yu-Gi-Oh!, I don't know who would win."
Although Chacon enjoys playing with toys, his favorite part of Christmas is spending time with his family, and he hopes other children find joy in Christmas, even if they don't receive a sleigh-full of gifts from Santa.
"Be happy with what you've got," Chacon said. "The best present there really is, is family."
Kahmari Frett, 9, a student at Eisenhower Elementary School, was on a mission to find board games with his dad and Sgt. Charles Whittington, whom Frett called "Officer Charlie."
I found "Connect 4, Sorry! and a remote control car," he said.
Frett plans to play the board games with his brothers and sisters, ages 2, 6 and 8. Frett also placed movies such as "Space Jam" in the shopping cart, and, to his dad's delight, he bought a pair of boy's basketball shorts an item his son actually needed.