7Smiles were contagious in Wal-Mart on Saturday, Dec. 20 when officers of the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office took five children from the community on a shopping spree for themselves – with a few surprises snuck in for family members.

The bond is not just made in shopping with the child. Each officer is given the time to bond with their child. One officer allowed his shopping companion to purchase a pair of furry, colorful boots and told her, “If we can find some in my size, I’ll wear them around the store.”

Learning that officers can be a friend is a plus for children who may, in some circumstances, only see the side of officers when help is needed. Shopping for boots, clothes, toys or bikes is something new to these children.

The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Association also purchased ten bikes to give to other children when Santa visits them on Christmas Eve.

The children are taken to lunch afterwards, where they gorge on pizza, talk of their adventures and fill up on sugar for the ride home.

Looking at the inside of a cop car can be intimidating, but learning the different controls and buttons could plant a seed in a child’s head that they too, could overcome obstacles, and one day become an officer.

The highlight for the children, besides shopping, was stopping at Walker Lake on the way home to observe a herd of Big Horn sheep that were near the highway.

The highlight for the officers was not the toys, nor the pizza party. It was the smiles on the faces of each child who was touched with kindness by a special friend who wears a star on their chest.