SARTELL -- Local youngsters buddied up with law enforcement officers from Sartell and Sauk Rapids Tuesday night for a little holiday shopping.

"Shop with a Cop" is an annual event held around the country - including Walmart in Sartell. About 50 kids from the Sartell and Sauk Rapids school districts are selected to participate based on need. Each receives a $50 Walmart gift card to spend on gifts for family members or themselves.

And, in the event they can't quite decide what they want, an off-duty police officer is there to help.

Abby Faulkner, WJON

Rob Lyon, a school resource officer in Sartell, says excitement builds in the days leading up to Shop with a Cop.

"A lot of time, you talk to (the kids) at school and they already have in their mind what they're going to pick out. Some don't know what they want to pick out yet. They love it."

Lyon says some kids have their sights set on practical items like hats, gloves and socks. Others stroll the aisles in search of gifts for loved ones.

"Each kid is different. Some pick out gifts for their moms or other family members. That's really cool, seeing them think of someone other than themselves."

Shop with a Cop is funded locally by Walmart and Bernick's.