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updated: 12/12/2011 12:01 AM

Kane County 'Shop with a Cop' helps hundreds

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Christmas is going to come a little early this week for 225 kids age 12 and younger.

Kane County Sheriff's Department Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 14 will host its Shop with a Cop program Wednesday at the Walmart in Batavia.

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"Some of the kids are shy, but a lot get big smiles on their faces. It's neat to watch," said Tom Bumgarner, Kane County Sheriff's Department lieutenant and president of the FOP Lodge 14.

Lodge 14 began the Shop With A Cop program in 1989 and has helped more than 20,000 kids so far.

Donations from Kane County residents and businesses fund the program, through which a child gets a $50 voucher that must be spent that night.

The limit is $200 per family and recipients are referred by social service agencies and sheriff's deputies.

"We never have a shortage of people. We always gets tons more than we can help," Bumgarner said, noting that some kids want to shop with an officer and others don't. "We're there to give back."

The program averages 237 kids a year. Bumgarner stressed that deputies are there to support the children and their families and not there to check people's backgrounds or serve warrants.

Donate in Campton Hills: The Campton Hills Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Toys for Tots program, a mission to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children.

Of particular need are toys for children ages 8 through 14.

New, unwrapped toys may be brought to 40W115 Campton Crossings Drive, Unit B, Campton Hills. For more information, call (630) 584-4242 or visit toysfortots.org.

The deadline is Friday. If you can't come to the station, call (630) 584-4242 to make arrangements for someone to pick up the toy(s).

Drug dealer faces prison: A 20-year-old Elgin man faces at least six years in prison after being convicted of selling drugs to an undercover police officer near a school in West Dundee.

A jury last week convicted Derek Garcia, of the 400 block of Villa Street, on one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school -- in this case, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School.

Authorities say that at 4:20 p.m. July 27, Garcia and co-defendant Oraphan Soontornpadungsin, 26, of the 1900 block of Lin Lor Lane, Elgin, sold an undercover cop 1.8 grams of cocaine for $100 in a parking lot about 875 feet from the school.

Garcia will be sentenced by Judge Judge Allen Anderson Jan. 20 and faces six to 30 years in prison. The case against Soontornpadungsin is pending.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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