Kids shop with cops

By WEEK Producer

December 19, 2013 Updated Dec 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Christmas will be a little bit brighter for several local kids and their families thanks to some Peoria cops.

Peoria's finest rounded up nearly 50 children to go shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart Thursday night.

Each of the youngsters, escorted by an officer, grabbed a shopping cart and picked out presents for themselves and their families.

Officer Anthony Allen said the event shows that police want to give back to the community.

"Most of the time when people call the police sometimes the encounters are negative encounter. This is our opportunity to do a little bit of positive reinforcement to the kids that police officers aren't the bad guys that you see on television," said Peoria Police Officer Anthony Allen.

Peoria police have hosted the event for 10 years.