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Sleighbells & Sirens Event Has Covington Cops Shopping With Kids

The Christmas season was made brighter for sixteen Covington children Friday when each was paired with a police officer to go shopping for themselves and their loved ones. The training room at Covington Police headquarters was transformed into Santa's Workshop with a false brick wall and an artificial fireplace near a fully decorated tree. The counter that would usually be filled with information for officers was instead a spread of sweets. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas was read aloud by the Grinch himself (an excited woman painted green and wearing a Santa suit just like the Grinch's) and then Santa himself showed up. Each kid got a turn to sit on Santa's lap to make their annual request and also got a nice present right then and there.

Officer Sara Lusardi spearheaded the effort dubbed "Sleighbells and Sirens" ("Shop With A Cop" is a trademarked title, but Covington's event was similar to that). She explained that the children were chosen by the schools based on grades and need.

Covington officers watched the children enjoy the entire day at the department while the police served as elves, busily wrapping presents for the kids' loved ones. The gifts were paid for by money earned in the department's Pepsi machine and through the support of local businesses.

Written by Michael Monks, Editor & Publisher of The River City News

PHOTO: Collage from the Sleighbells and Sirens event/by Emily Votruba for RCN