If you've stopped by Walmart on 4th Street in Longview this week you no doubt noticed an influx of our boys and girls in blue. Or maybe you just drove by, noticed the parking lot full of 'em, thought "hmm that seems like a lot cops," and just continued on with your day.

Regardless of your level of curiosity, or if this is the first time that you're hearing about the extra police officers at Wally World this week, I've got the answer for you.

In addition to the Christmas shopping kids were able to take photos with Santa Claus, who forewent his traditional red suit for a police friendly blue one.

Monday was the first day of Longview Police Department's annual Shop with a Cop for their Blue Santa program. The annual tradition continues through today and will see Longview's finest tearing through Walmart helping East Texas kids get something special for Christmas.

“We have closer to 140 families this year,” Longview Police Officer and Chairman of the Blue Santa Program Luke Altman told The Longview News Journal, "more than double the numbers from 2020."

Altman went on to say that this years program would serve 343 East Texas children over three days thanks to a total of $35,000 in raised funds. He credited the community with the officers being able to do this, “The fundraising events and donations make this happen."

In addition to the Christmas shopping kids were able to take photos with Santa Claus, who forewent his traditional red suit for a police friendly blue one.

What a great story, love that our Longview PD is taking the time to step up for our children and families this and every year.

Thanks, y'all!

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