PRESTON, IDAHO — Law enforcement agencies in southeast Idaho came together Wednesday afternoon to throw a Christmas party for people with special needs and their families. It was the sixth annual “Lunch with a Cop,” at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.
Franklin County Sheriff David Fryer started the tradition, and has helped organize it each year with the help of his deputies. He said the idea started as a way to share the holiday spirit with a special group of citizens, and boost the morale of his staff.
“We need to do something for Christmas to get our officers out of the mode that everything is bad and have some good times with them,” Fryer said. “I thought, let’s do it with the special needs kids, they are always happy. So we did it and it was a little rough the first year, and then we learned some things. Since then it has evolved into a big party and we have a ton of fun.”
The event began with the chance for kids to have their picture taken with deputies and officers. They were then served lunch and took part in games and cookie decorating. It ended with a special visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause.
As part of the entertainment, Fryer joined some of the kids on stage, dancing and singing Christmas carols. He said, people with special needs have always had a place in his heart.
“This is their party. Sometimes they get left out of stuff. It is so much better now than it used to be. They’re integrated in schools and everything but sometimes they just need a party just for them.”
The party was a combined effort with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Preston City Police Department and the Idaho State Police.