Benton County Deputies Take Kids Christmas Shopping

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SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) -- Christmas came early for a group of local children, thanks to a law enforcement agency in the area.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office has been taking kids shopping for Christmas for nearly ten years.

They went to the Walmart in Siloam Springs on Tuesday (Dec. 6) with 20 kids from the Decatur, Gentry, Gravette and Siloam Springs school districts.

“The best part was when we were having a shopping spree,” fourth grader Joshua Crook said.

“It's great, I love working with kids and it kind of shows them too that you know we're on their side and it kind of shows them a different aspect of cops,”  Detective Clifford Burton said.

These middle and elementary schoolers where chosen by their school counselors.

They got to walk down the aisles and pick out $250 worth of gifts. This money comes from the police athletic league or PALS.

This was patrolman Jenni Free's first time participating in shop with a cop.

''They're more concerned about their siblings or their parents or grandparents and they are the ones. They are the ones we kind of have to remind 'hey this is for you, we are going to do something special for you' and they just won't take no for an answer and you just have to go with it,” Free said.

Free said she's already looking forward to shop with a cop next year.

''It makes you feel like you are absolutely doing the right thing. This is what's right because they are good and deserve exactly what they are getting because they are giving of themselves,” she said.

The kids even got to eat lunch with the deputies before going back to school.

Benton county deputies will be taking around 20 more kids shopping tomorrow from Pea Ridge and Bentonville schools.