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Shop with a Kent County sheriff is about more than the presents

Posted at 10:19 PM, Dec 15, 2019

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Sunday, the Kent County Sheriff's department came to the Meijer on Plainfield Avenue with their lights and sirens on.

No one was in trouble. In fact, quite the opposite. Sheriff's deputies were there to be Santa for more than 100 kids as a part of the annual "Shop with a Sheriff" event.

“We want the kids to see us in a positive light. As someone they can feel comfortable around,” Sgt. Joy Matthews said.

Kids get to pick out toys and other things they need. 80% of what ends up in their shopping cart is essential items. Twenty percent is toys. Matthews says the most heartwarming part is when kids are told they can pick out any toy they want, and they choose to pick out a gift for another family member.

“I will say it’s enjoyable for the kids, but I think it’s almost more enjoyable for the officers who do it,” Matthews said.

This is the 18th year the sheriff's department has done Shop with a Sheriff. Meijer provides the money for the gifts.

“Seeing them smile is what makes our day,” Matthews said.