Sirens and lights from over 50 police vehicles will again fill downtown Aberdeen with the Christmas spirit this weekend as the 18th Annual Grays Harbor Shop with a Cop program gets underway Saturday.

After breakfast with officers from more than 12 different agencies, the kids are treated to photos with Santa before a parade from the Aberdeen Eagles building to Wal-Mart.

Shop With a Cop 2015At around 8 AM Saturday morning, the kids get to control the sirens, so if it sounds like a 50-car police chase, it might just be them taking the kids shopping. Officers arrive at Aberdeen Wal-Mart for the Shop With a Cop Program

Walmart store manager Irene Brown said last year, “We prepare for this all year and the associates look forward to it.” In the store, the kids are given a gift card and allowed to shop alongside their assigned cops.

Even though the program is well supported by local businesses, the cops are often seen opening their own wallets to help out.

Shop With a Cop 2015The Shop With a Cop program was started locally in 1999 by Montesano resident Betty Crass, who retired from the program 3 years ago. She said then, “It’s a wonderful time, and you know Grays Harbor has been known for low-income and a lot of industry and things closing up. But this is one of the brightest parts of Christmas on the harbor, is seeing all of these officers with these children having such a good time. It really brings the Christmas spirit out here on the harbor.”

The children are selected by their schools, contact your school for more information. The Shop with a Cop event gets underway this Saturday morning at the Aberdeen Eagles building.