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LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) — For most, a day spent Christmas shopping is usually not done with a smile but for some South Florida children and adults, it was something to smile about.

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That’s because the kids got to shop with a cop. It’s an event the Lauderhill Police Department has held for the last five holiday seasons.

Lt. Mike Butkus thinks it’s one of the perks of the badge.

“This is one of the things that makes the job well worth it,” said Butkus.

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In the wake of so much bad press for law enforcement recently, Lt. Butkus believes the Shop With a Cop event helps ease some tension between officers and the communities they serve.

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“Acts like this and events like this show more a personal side from the police department that we are approachable,” said Butkus. “We do care about our community and hopefully our community does care about us.”

The children get $100 to spend on presents for their families and in return the officers get to spread the message of the holiday season; to give.

“It’s a way to give back to them. To see their faces running around the store with our police officers. It’s enjoyable for all,” said Butkus.

When one child decided to use all his money for his family instead of getting something for himself, the officer said it best.

“That’s what I’m talking about. That’s what Christmas is about,” said Butkus.

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