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EDWARDSVILLE - For the past decade, Edwardsville's Fraternal Order of Police has sponsored an annual "Christmas with a Cop" program that has made the holiday much brighter for children in need.

This year though was a little different because of COVID-19. Instead of the police officers cooking breakfast for the kids then doing a parade-style caravan to Target so they could shop, this year the children were tasked with creating a gift registry online for officers to shop.

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Officers were able to access the registry online or in the store, shop for gifts, and wrapped them for a surprise this holiday season. The officers donated their time shopping for the kids along with seeing the kids receive their presents.

On Saturday they had a drive-thru style pick up at the Edwardsville Police Station. The police officers were in the police garage as the kids arrived. The parents drove their cars in the garage and the police officers gave them their gifts and off they went.

This year 23 kids participated in the shop with the cop. The ages were from 2 months old to 13 years old.

Edwardsville Police Sgt. Matt Breihan has been long affiliated with the "Christmas with a Cop" program and has said it is something and the other officers truly love doing it year after year to make Christmas brighter for those who need it.

"The positive interaction that takes place between the officers, children, and their families is something that lasts a lifetime," Breihan said.

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