Applications for families to participate in Christmas with a Cop became available beginning today at local law enforcement offices.

The program is being put on by the Madison Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 128. Applications can be picked up at the police department or sheriff's department and will be accepted until Dec. 3.

Any child who took part in the program last year will not be eligible for the program this year. This year's participants cannot participate in any other local Christmas programs.

Last year 40 children participated in the program, according to Detective Lt. Jonathon Simpson, one of the organizers of the event. Children were chosen based on income and the level of need.

Children were provided with food and had a visit from Santa Claus. They were then paired with a police officer at Walmart and allowed money to purchase items the child needed. Children were required to purchase necessities before any toys were purchased.

A date has not been set for the program. The program is funded entirely through donations, and the number of children that can be helped depends on the amount of donations.

Anyone wanting to donate to the program or anyone with questions can contact Simpson at (812) 265-3347 or Heidi Neace at the sheriff's department at (812) 265-2648.