WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - They are often seen as the guys who take down criminals, but today they were trying make a difference in some young lives in Letcher County.
The kids got to shop with a cop today at the Whitesburg Walmart.
Troopers we talked to say the event was a way to give back to their community and spread some Christmas cheer.
Organizers were anticipating more than 80 kids to participate in the annual "Shop with a Trooper" event, held Friday in Whitesburg.
Kids got to pick out their own clothes, toys and games with the help of real Kentucky State Police officers.
"I've done this just about every year that I've been a trooper and I look forward to it every year. We start planning early on in the season, start raising money, and make sure that we can take as many kids as possible," said trooper Jennifer Sandlin of the Pikeville K.S.P. post.
But it is not just fun and games; troopers say many of the kids come from needy families.
They say the event is all about making the Christmas season just a little brighter for these kids.
"It makes ours a little brighter too, when you see a kid's eyes light up and a big smile on his face, and know that he's going to get some fun and some joy and know that he's going to have a good Christmas," said trooper Tony Watts of K.S.P. Post 13.
Police say Shop with a Trooper provides an opportunity to bond with kids and show them that law enforcement is there to help, not to hurt them.
State Police raise money for Shop with a Trooper year round.
They say you can make a donation at your nearest K.S.P. post.