Christmas came early for some youths in Isanti County.

The 34 school-age children, who were selected by their schools to participate, were paired with police from around the county to “Shop With a Cop” at the Cambridge Walmart on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Cambridge police officer Kevin Gross, who serves as the school resource officer at Cambridge-Isanti High School, said the annual event has been going on for longer than the seven years he has supervised it. But this year COVID-19 forced some changes.

“In years past we’ve been able to have a dinner with the kids, form a relationship with them,” he explained. “This year we met them at Walmart, then we did some shopping.”

Walmart was joined by Bernick’s Pepsi and First Rate Outdoors as sponsors of the event, which allowed the youths to shop the store with a police escort.

After the shopping was finished, the youths also received a gift bag.

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