EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Before she even got to Walmart on Saturday, Savannah Lacy knew what she wanted — a new bookbag, a couple new pairs of pants and matching necklaces for her and her mom.

It was the fourth time the 11-year-old from Mays Landing was participating in Shop with a Cop and, besides getting to pick out some presents, “getting to hang out with all the police officers” is the best part, Savannah said.

Run by the township’s Police Athletic League, members of police departments from Atlantic and Cape May counties, as well as fire departments and State Police, turned out to deliver Christmas a little early for 128 Atlantic County kids.

Each child is paired with an officer from their town and given $100 to spend at the store, PAL Executive Director Hector Tavarez said.

The event aims to provide for emotionally or financially stressed children and their families, Mullica Township Police Chief John Thompson said.

“PAL is about cops and kids, and this is one of the best examples of how cops are helping kids every single day,” Tavarez said.

And this year, they set a record, as 111 officers participated, Tavarez said, adding the event is entirely funded by individual donations, fundraisers and corporate sponsors.

To start off the morning, kids and their families mingled with officers at the Egg Harbor Township Community Center for breakfast.

“When you’re in a room with this many officers, it’s usually for a bad situation,” Thompson said. “In this case, it’s an event that you’re giving back to the community and having a great time.”

Then, kids piled on school buses and joined a parade of police motorcycles, squad cars and firetrucks to Walmart, where Santa Claus was waiting to greet them before they went shopping.

Louvenia Hindsman, 45, of Egg Harbor Township, whose two daughters were picked to shop, explained that the event not only gives kids the chance to get some presents, it strengthens the bond between police and the community.

“It helps children not to be afraid of a cop so they’ll be able to express that they or someone else needs help if they have to,” she said. “Then they can encourage other children. Cops are there when you need them.”