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Kids 'Shop with a Cop' for back-to-school clothes

Laurence H. Shisler, 5, picks out a new shirt for kindergarten with the help of Officer Joshua Morgel of the Woodville Police Department. Both participated in the Salvation Army/Grace Place's "Shop with a Cop" program on Wednesday, Aug. 24 - a program that gives school children in need money to get school clothes. Police officers from around the county volunteer their time to help the children shop at Wal-Mart.1 / 2
Shaunte Shisler, 9, gets some help from Katie Chevrier of the Somerset Police Department during the "Shop with a Cop" event at Wal-Mart in New Richmond.2 / 2

It's not every day that children have their own armed escort to go clothes shopping.

But for several hours on Aug. 24, 44 kids had that experience, thanks to Grace Place in Somerset.

According to Lori Scheder of Grace Place, they received a $5,000 grant to allow them to sponsor the "Shop with a Cop" event - a program that pairs up children in need with a police officer to shop for school clothes.

"We did this two years ago, but we didn't have the money last year," explained Scheder. "It's a good program because it helps children understand that police officers are people too."

The money this year allowed Grace Place to help 44 school children in the county: elementary students received $75 and high schoolers received $150. The money was used for clothes and at least one pair of shoes.

Police officers from around the county volunteered their time to help the children shop. Those who helped were Officers Christ Dorst and Jason Sykora of the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department, Officers Lori Hetfeld and Jose Morgel from Woodville, Police Chief Dan Burgess and Officer Aaron Williams from Roberts, Officers Josh Hecht and Katie Chevrier from Somerset, and Chief Steve Lewis of Star Prairie.

The officers and children were able to shop from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. that day at the New Richmond Wal-Mart. Cookies and punch were available, and each child had his/her picture taken with their officer companion as a keepsake.

Laurence H. Shisler, 5, was paired with Morgel and they picked out some "cool" clothes for kindergarten. His prize possession was a pair of super hero shoes.

"Spider-Man is my favorite," said Shisler. "The shoes light up."

Chevrier was helping Shisler's 9-year-old sister, Shaunte, look at a pink shirt with a bow.

"I really like being around kids," Chevrier said, "and giving a positive impression."