Shop with Cops is about building positive relationships between police officers and kids who are typically from disenfranchised communities; pairing them up with a police officer during the holiday season. The police officers, thanks to donations from the foundation, have the kids buy gifts for themselves and their families. This creates an unforgettable bonding experience with law enforcement and the communities they serve. Shop with Cops is celebrating its 20th year in operation. Young kids, K - 6th grade are selected each year during the end-of-the-year holiday season to shop at one of the local area stores to purchase gifts for members of their immediate family. Each child is given a small amount of money to spend, normally $50-$100 depending on the size of the child's immediate family. Approximately 1-2 children are assigned to each police personnel, who then escorts them around the store and assists in selecting appropriate gifts for each family member. After shopping, the children will eat lunch, wrap their gifts, and continue to get to know the police officers.
Youth must be nominated by a school, a social service program or a youth serving agency. Those youth not meeting the criteria will be placed on a wait list and will be notified by November 15, 2020.
Nominations for Shop With Cops is currently closed and will reopen on October 1st, 2020. Please check back then.
Shop with Cops hopes to break down the barriers between the community and the police with the intent of developing a better and more trusting relationship. What this program does is allow officers and some of these youth to interact in a positive and fun way. Shop with Cops fosters positive relationships between youth and officers.
NBC News featured Shop with Cops in their national spotlight - you can watch the program here.
“Officers are often called to help kids who are experiencing the worst moments of their lives. Shop with Cops gives them a chance to help kids in need without having to fix an immediate crisis. It also gives kids a chance to get to know the officer behind the badge. It’s a special event that’s as rewarding for our officers as it is for the kids.”
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