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PHOENIX -- Dozens of Phoenix police officers are getting ready to help kids shop for gifts this holiday season.

The third annual "Shop with a Cop" will allow selected children in Phoenix to shop with a police officer on Dec. 17 at the Target store near Christown Spectrum Mall. Breakfast will be served and a Santa dressed in blue will be flown on to the store's parking lot by a police helicopter.

Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia said helping children is part of being an officer.

"It's not just about making an arrest out there," he said. "It's about sharing the community needs and the quality of life issues. There's a number of kids that are in need out there who deserve our support. That's what this program's about."

The kids will be nominated at their individual schools, but the officers themselves will make the final decision on which ones will get the shopping trip.

The event is a cooperative effort between the Phoenix Police Department, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and Target stores.

If you would lke to donate to the program, you can do so by writing P.L.E.A. Charities at 1102 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, Ariz., 85007. The phone number is (602) 246-7869.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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