Shopping spree with public safety

Reserve Deputy Aron Howlett and Kaitlyn didn’t waste any time at the start of the event; they grabbed a cart and made their way around the store in search of an array of school supplies. Lakes Region EMS emergency medical technician Brian Meyer helped Madison pick out a pair of bedazzled jeans. Shelley Beckman, of the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office, found some colorful shoes for Sydney. Chisago County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Gene Friberg and Collin thought they might find a good deal on pants that were marked the “lowest price of the season.” Britney Ard helped Hailey sift through the piles of pants to find a pair that fit just right. North Branch Police Chief Dan Meyer and Marcus were searching the store for the best deals. Before the shopping at Shopko, the kids and public safety professionals had breakfast at County Market.
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Reserve Deputy Aron Howlett and Kaitlyn didn’t waste any time at the start of the event; they grabbed a cart and made their way around the store in search of an array of school supplies.

Public safety professionals from the North Branch Police Department, Lakes Region EMS and the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office were paired with area youth Thursday morning for a back-to-school shopping spree.

The event, organized by the Salvation Army, was held at Shopko in North Branch, one of 11 shopping locations across the metro.

The officers, deputies and emergency medical service professionals each had $80 to spend with the child they were paired with, and it’s a bit of a friendly competition each year to see who can get as close to that mark without going over as possible.

“It’s like ‘The Price is Right’ – if you go over, it’s a bust,” Chisago County Sheriff’s Office Captain Keith Hoppe said with a laugh.

For some of the children taking part in the event, this is the first time they’ve received clothing that wasn’t a hand-me-down.

The event is made possible by donations to the Salvation Army.