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Santa Cops lend a hand

Local law enforcement gears up for 10th year of giving

December 2, 2011
By PETER KASPARI, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Law enforcement agencies in the Fort Dodge and Webster County area are teaming up again to provide support for children in need this holiday season.

Santa Cops, entering its 10th year, provides a needy child with $100 that they can spend any way they want at Target, 2910 First Ave. S.

What makes the program unique is that each child goes shopping with a law enforcement officer from the Webster County area.

This year, Santa Cops will be held on Dec. 13 and 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.

According to Fort Dodge Police Capt. Mike Buske, Santa Cops hopes to get between 80 to100 children to participate in the program this year.

"The schools take care of finding the kids," Buske said. "They know which ones need help."

Buske said the Fort Dodge Police Department, Webster County Sheriff's Department, reserve officers and deputies from both departments, and troopers from the Iowa State Patrol all help out with the program.

"It's been going for 10 years and it's still going strong," Buske said.

Though the program is strong, Buske said it couldn't be done without the support of the community, which is why organizers are asking for donations so that every child selected is able to participate.

Buske said people who would like to donate can send a check to the Fort Dodge Police Association, 701 First Ave. S.

Buske said it's not uncommon to see kids doing shopping for their parents or a sibling who wasn't selected for the program before moving on to what they want.

"Hopefully, all the kids that are selected show up and Santa Cops makes their Christmas better," he said.

The program could also not be done without the support of Target, Buske said.

"They provide the kids with things to eat and drink, like water and popcorn," he said. "You name it and they take care of it. They let us use their shopping carts and everything."

Anybody who would like more information on how to donate, or who has any questions about Santa Cops, should call Buske at 573-1454.

Contact Peter Kaspari at (515) 573-2141 or



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