Applications are now being accepted for Shop With Cops, the annual Ardmore Police Department Fraternal Order of Police project that provides a very special Christmas gift shopping experience for some of the community's needy children and children who have been victims of crimes.

APD FOP spokesman Sgt. Keith Ingle says the popular event is open to children age 15 and under who meet the project's requirements. Shop With Cops is aimed at youngsters who will not be served by other agencies during the 2013 holiday season.

"Applications are available on the second floor of City Hall next to the police department records division window," Ingle says. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 22.

Shop With Cops is an APD FOP tradition that began more than 20 years ago. Each year, officers strive to make the event a life-altering experience for the children served. Ingle says 2013 will be no exception.

"This year, Shop With Cops will serve at least 50 kids. Each of the kids selected will be given about $100 to spend," Ingle says.

But having money to spend anyway they choose is just part of what makes a Shop With Cops Christmas special and a lifetime memory. Each child will be accompanied on the holiday gift-buying spree by their own "personal cop shopper." The cop will chauffeur them to and from the store in a real police car, with lights flashing and sirens screaming. And before the main event, they will be treated to Christmas goodies at a pre-shopping party.

When will the fun happen? Ingle says Dec. 9 has been marked on the calendar as Shop With Cops night.

"This year, those children selected to participate will be officially contacted by the FOP. They will be told when and where we will meet to go shopping," he says.

While some local businesses, groups and individuals have already donated to this year's project, Ingle says the FOP continues to accept contributions. Donations can be made by mailing checks to: APD FOP, P.O. Box 1212, Ardmore, OK 73401 or by calling Ingle at (580) 221-5432.