BENSON — A host of valley boys and girls will be treated to a holiday shopping spree via police motorcade escort Saturday for the 10th Annual Benson Shop With A Cop.
The program, started in Benson by Denise and Terry Celentano, is aimed at providing the youngsters with a positive experience with law enforcement, many of whom have witnessed arrest of family members or have endured traumatic or stressful contact with officers.
Last year 44 boys and girls participated.
The day typically starts at 7 a.m. at the Benson Unified School District Multipurpose Room where the kids are partnered with their cop and get better acquainted over breakfast. Then it’s on to Walmart in a full on lights-flashing, sirens-blaring, police motorcade up Fourth Street for a Christmas Shopping Spree.
The designated cops assist each with their holiday gift list for themselves and family members, adeptly keeping count of the mounting tally. Every year, officers queried afterward, are as happy as the kids and can’t wait to do it again.
Kierstin Kessler, assumed the executive directorship of BSWAC barely a month before last year’s scheduled event. This year things have gone a bit smoother.