Twenty five 4th and 5th graders from 20 different Berks public and parochial schools were selected to participate in Crime Alert Berks County’s annual holiday tradition Shop with a Cop at Boscov’s in Muhlenberg Township.

Each student received a $100 Boscov’s gift card to buy gifts for their family members. To accompany and assist in the gift selection process, an equal contingent of police officers from police departments all across Berks and the Berks County Sheriff’s Department walked the aisles with the students.

“We value this opportunity every year to help children fulfill their Christmas wish lists for their families,” said Rick Periandi, president of Crime Alert Berks County.

“This gives each child the chance to experience the joy of giving, so important at this time of year, as well as to understand that police officers are kind and are always there to provide a helping hand.”

As a special treat, members of the Crime Alert Berks board served as Santa’s gift wrapping elves to help the children make their presents even more special. To kick off the night, Santa Claus arrived on a Goodwill Fire Company ladder truck in front of Boscov’s.

“I’ve been helping with this event for 10 years” said Reading Police Officer Jim Demsko (pictured above). “I enjoy meeting the kids, learning a little bit about them, seeing them happy for the holidays.”