‘Best Christmas ever’: Children shop with cops for the holidays in Auburn

Marcus Penta’s eyes lit up when he finally found the Elf on the Shelf toy he had been looking for at Walmart Saturday.

Marcus, 8, searched for the female elf to go with the male elf toy he carried around during the sixth annual Shop with a Cop, where deputies from the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office took children holiday shopping, with $100 Walmart gift cards provided by the Cayuga County Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association.

Marcus, Deputy Robert Guarnieri and Dalton Moniz, a student from the criminal justice program at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, looked at the elf they had been searching for since they entered the store. Marcus decided to name the elf “Chrissy.” Guarnieri said he loves volunteering for the annual program.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities to put smiles on people’s faces in this job, let’s face it,” Guarnieri said, noting that he takes every opportunity he can to have positive interactions with the community.

Detective Lt. Brian Schenck said the event is his favorite part of the entire year. Children may be accustomed to the idea that they only see law enforcement when something bad happens, he said, so the event is a chance for members of the sheriff’s office to show that they are “real people” and to interact with children on a happy occasion.

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