The Gurnee Police Department hosts its Shop with a Cop event on December 11 for 85 children who were able to shop for presents and meet Santa. | Provided Photo

Police departments throughout Lake County hosted their annual “Shop with a Cop” this month to provide children with clothing and toys during the holiday season.

Shop with a Cop is an event where less fortunate children shop with police officers for the holidays.

The event is made possible through community partnerships, donations and fundraisers.

The Antioch Police Department held its annual Shop with a Cop event earlier this week for approximately 50 children, ages 5 through 12.

The Zion Police Department was joined by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for their annual Shop with a Cop event at Walmart on December 9. | Provided Photo

The children enjoyed a pizza party courtesy of Johnny’s Snack Shop and a special visit with Santa Claus in the showroom of the Raymond Chevy/Kia dealership, which purchased gifts for the children at Walmart.

The Zion Police Department hosted Shop with a Cop at Walmart on December 9 and said it was a “tremendous success”.

The Gurnee Police Department hosted its 8th annual event on December 11, which benefited 85 children from the community.

“This year’s Shop with a Cop event was an absolute success, thanks to the overwhelming support from our amazing community!” Gurnee police said.

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Chicago Wolves mascot Skates looks on as Santa and Antioch Police Chief Geoffrey Guttschow present a gift that was purchased by an employee of Raymond Chevrolet/Kia, which purchased gifts for all of the participating children. | Provided Photo

The Grayslake Police Department said their event benefited 29 children from Grayslake and Hainesville and they shopped at Target in Gurnee.

Sailors with the Naval Station Great Lakes and College of Lake County police officers joined the North Chicago Police Department in providing families with gifts and food, which they called “another success.”

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said they had an “incredible time” at their Shop with a Sheriff event. Dozens of Lake County children shopped for Christmas gifts.

The Buffalo Grove police and fire departments teamed up for their seventh annual “Shopping with Heroes” event at the beginning of the month.

The Grayslake Police Department’s Shop with a Cop event benefited almost 30 children at the Target in Gurnee. | Provided Photo

Police officers and firefighters assisted 11 children in shopping for gifts for themselves, their families and loved ones at the Target in Wheeling.

“Our first responders look forward to this event every year,” Buffalo Grove Police Chief Brian Budds said. “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the many volunteers who helped make the holidays special for kids in our community and their families.”

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Round Lake Park Police Chief Dan Burch said his department hosted their 27th annual Shop with a Cop program on Monday.

The program provides up to $150 in spending money to underprivileged children, giving them an opportunity to accompany a police officer while purchasing Christmas gifts for themselves and loved ones.

Approximately 80 children shopped for gifts during Shop with a Cop hosted by the Waukegan Police Department earlier this month. | Provided Photo

“It’s designed to provide positive encounters with police officers and open lines of communication between the police and youth,” Burch said.

The Round Lake Park program was the first of its kind in Lake County, growing each year and starting with 20 children in 1996 to now doubling in 2023.

The Waukegan Police Department said they helped spread holiday cheer on December 9 during their Shop with a Cop event at the Waukegan Walmart.

Approximately 80 children shopped for gifts before finishing the day with lunch and free games provided by The People’s Choice Family Fun Center in Waukegan.

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“A huge thank you to all the officers, community and sponsors/donators for helping make this event such a success! We, as a police department, are forever grateful for the opportunity to spread a little joy and bring smiles to the faces of Waukegan’s children,” the department said.

Community Outreach of Waukegan hosts a “Christmas Wonderland” event in Wadsworth where toys were given to many children, who were able to meet Santa and his elves. | Provided Photo

In addition to the police department events, the organization Community Outreach of Waukegan, in partnership with Toys for Tots and local businesses, hosted a “Christmas Wonderland” event where toys were handed out to many children on December 10.

The event included vendors and featured music, games and food and drinks at Encore Events in Wadsworth. Children were also able to take photos with Santa and his elves.