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'Smiling ear to ear': Billings police host fourth annual 'Shop with a Cop' event

'Shop with a Cop' 2023 group
Posted at 12:53 PM, Dec 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-16 21:42:35-05

BILLINGS — The Billings Police Department is making it a December to remember, hosting its annual 'Shop with a Cop' event Saturday morning at the West End Walmart.

'Shop with a Cop' 2023 group
'Shop with a Cop' 2023 group

The holiday shopping tradition started in Billings four years ago but occurs nationwide.

"One of my most favorite memories I think is my first year of doing it. The kid that I had, I asked him (what he wanted to get first). And his first answer to me was, ‘I want to buy this for my mom. And I want to get this for my dad.' So, just the selflessness of these kids that comes out is what makes the event so worthwhile,” said Sergeant Jeff Stovall of the Billings Police Department on Saturday. "It brings smiles to their faces. I mean, you saw them walking in, smiling ear to ear."

This year, 50 Yellowstone County children were selected to shop with first responders.

"A lot of times in law enforcement, we see a lot of these families on their worst day," Stovall said. "And today we get to make one of their best days, one of their most memorable days. This year, they each got $350 that they get to go Christmas shopping with for themselves, their friends, and their family."

Picking out toys
Picking out toys

BPD was joined by numerous agencies: Billings Fire, YCSO, MHP, Laurel PD, and more.

The group first met at the Metra and then headed down to Walmart in true law enforcement style with a lights and sirens parade.

It's all made possible by generous donations from businesses and the public.

For more information on BPD's 'Shop with a Cop', click here.