More than 40 children shop with ‘Santa Cops’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2000

For the eighth year, local police and other volunteers accompanied more than 40 children in need to Kmart Saturday to buy clothes and one toy apiece as part of the &uot;Santa Cop&uot;&160;program.

&uot;I just love to help people out, especially children,&uot; said Officer Joyce Jackson of the Natchez Police Department. &uot;It lets them know that somebody cares.&uot;

With the help of law enforcement officers and other volunteers, the children had no trouble filling a shopping cart with clothes, shoes and other necessities plus a toy – up to $150 worth of items each.

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At one side of the store, a little girl tried on a warm winter jacket; on the other side, a boy tried on a pair of boots.

At the start of the trip, Sgt. Scott Frye of the Natchez Police Department helped Xavier Marvel, 10, pick out a jacket and other clothes – but Marvel already had his mind on the &uot;toy&uot;&160;he wanted.

&uot;I&160;want a CD player,&uot;&160;he said before picking out some more clothing to fill the cart.

One group of volunteers and children went in the morning, after having breakfast with the officers at the Isle of Capri. Another went in the afternoon after lunch at Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Fraternal Order of Police’s Natchez Lodge No. 4, led by retired police officer Charlotte Chapman and Sgt. Tom McGehee, organize the event each year. &uot;This is just something we do each year to help these kids at Christmas,&uot;&160;Chapman said. &uot;And we’ve got some that really need it this year,&uot;&160;McGehee added.

Donations from local businesses and individuals pay for the event, including the costs of shopping and meals. Participating children are picked by schools, welfare agencies, the Salvation Army and other such groups.