Kids selected to participate for the Shop With a Cop program are greeted at Wal-Mart by Santa yesterday. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.


Officer Darrin Wilkins arrives with his group to take them shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts yesterday. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.


Officers arrive with students selected to participate in the Shop With A Cop Program at Mesquite’s Wal-Mart yesterday. The program has provided Merry Christmases to local youth for over 17 years, thanks to donations from local businesses and community members. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

It’s that time of year again, when the true ‘elves’ of the world come together to provide a Merry Christmas to so many children in our area every year who are in need.

Yesterday, officers with the Mesquite Police department gathered 55 elementary students from Virgin Valley and JL Bowler Elementary Schools to spend their share of $150 of over $11,000 that has been raised in 2014. Students that have siblings that are not on the list were able to spend $200 so that they could buy something for them.

There were also 20 – $50 gift cards purchased that will go to students at the middle and high school levels that are in need.

“This year we are going to try something a little different in hopes of making the children’s experience a little more memorable,” said Sergeant MaQuade Chesley.  We plan on picking up the children and then driving in a procession of police cars while using our police lights. The police cars will also play Christmas music through their PA system.”

The students were greeted by Santa at the entrance to the home and garden area where shopping carts were waiting for them. After their money was spent, they all shuttled over to the Elks Lodge on Riverside Road for a lunch with everyone involved.

“Overwhelming community response has, once again, made this year’s Shop with a Cop event one of the most memorable. Residents and businesses in Mesquite and surrounding communities have been very generous in support of the Shop with a Cop program. The Mesquite Police Department appreciates everyone’s generosity,” said Police Chief Troy Tanner.

The program has been in Mesquite for over 17 years now.