Shop with a Cop will continue despite the pandemic, but this year's event will look different.

The annual event pairs local children and preteens with local law enforcement for a day of holiday shopping.

This year, about 50 kids will receive a set of three $50 gift cards — one each from Walmart, Hy-Vee and Canadian Honker — to help their families celebrate the holiday.

In pre-pandemic times, dozens of members of the Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol would help push carts around Walmart, and keep track of holiday lists and budgets while the youths made sure to get something for everyone on their holiday lists.

Rochester police officer James Marsolek said last week that 47 children in 44 families have already signed up for this year's Shop with a Cop, but the department was hoping to serve around 50 kids.

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He said when families learned there would still be Shop with a Cop in some form this year, they were "ecstatic."

The gift cards will be delivered by law enforcement to participating families during the week of Dec. 5-12.

Families interested in participating can send an email to