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Santa wears a badge
Great Bend Police take kids shopping
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Great Bend Police Officer Chris Smee helps 9-year-old Faith Hatten choose a toy, Wednesday afternoon at Walmart. The local Fraternal Order of Police treated several lucky children to a shopping spree. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Several area children were treated to a holiday shopping spree at Walmart on Wednesday, courtesy of Great Bend police officers.
Members of the Fraternal Order of Police handed out $40 gift cards and helped children make their selections. Detective Scott Bieberle said the money for the annual “Cops and Kids” event came from donations to the FOP during the fall telephone solicitation.
“They can buy for themselves or for their family,” he said.
Several of the officers are Big Brothers in Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Barton-Pawnee County, and they originally planning to shop with children who are on the waiting list for the volunteer mentoring program. But this year a few other children were also allowed to shop.
Brothers Cody George, 12, and Arimis Disque, 10, split up initially. Cody headed to the video games with Officer Ryan DeYoung, and  selected “World of Warcraft” software for his computer. He said he’d played the demo version was looking forward to playing more levels of the online role-playing game. Arimis and Sgt. Jason Settle browsed through the art supplies as Settle asked what he likes to draw.
Faith Hatten, 9, was intrigued by the Girl-Tech electronic journal but had difficulty deciding.
Cpl. James Bachar, FOP president for Great Bend, helped coordinate the shopping trip. For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barton-Pawnee County, contact Lisa Horyna by calling 793-5887.