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John Lamb, Published December 15 2013

Cop shop: Kids get police escort to pick Christmas gifts

FARGO - Some area kids got a police escort for Christmas shopping on Sunday.

Area members of the North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police, Red River Lodge #1, held the 19th annual Cops and Kids shopping event at the 13th Avenue Wal-Mart in Fargo. The event pairs up off-duty officers with disadvantaged children, giving each youngster $75 to buy presents for family members and even a little something for themselves. After shopping, participants went to Pizza Ranch for lunch.

Brothers Maverick, 10, and Callister Cariger, 8, were among the 29 kids who took part in this year’s event.

“So far we’re doing good,” said Maverick, after shopping for about an hour.

The brothers selected a slow cooker for their dad, a blanket for their mother and a “Star Wars” Lego kit for their 14-year-old brother.

Maverick bagged a dart-shooting tank for himself. Callister picked up a rapid-fire Nerf-style gun.

They still had a 16-year-old sister to shop for, so they headed over to the makeup section with Fargo Police Department Officer Amy Kingzett.

“What color would look good on you if she put it on you?” Kingzett teased the boys as they asked for her advice on product. They answered by making faces.

“I wanted to see what they’d come up with. I thought they made good choices,” she said later as their presents were being wrapped by volunteers from Microsoft and Wennsoft. “The boys get it, that they need things (for others), but want things for themselves.”

Kingzett said the boys went a little over their combined $150 budget, but she covered the balance.

The money for gifts is raised by NDFOP charities.

Cops and Kids committee chairwoman Rhonda Jorgensen said the event helps get law enforcement members involved with the community.

“It allows children to see

law enforcement in a positive light. It’s our way to be a positive figure to the kids,” Jorgensen said.

Kingzett just had one regret from the day.

“I’m just disappointed I haven’t done this before,” she said with a smile.

“I feel like I did good,” Maverick said with his wrapped gifts in his cart. “I feel like I scored.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533