Shop With a Cop Builds Positive Relationships Between Law Enforcement and Youth
The Peninsula Rotary Club is pleased to announce their partnership with law enforcement, Dennis Company Stores, the Lost Roo, Bank of the Pacific, BJ’s Pet Projects, the Cottage Bakery and Diamond Espresso for “Shop With a Cop”. This year’s Santa doppleganger was Don Bennett.
Held the first Saturday in December, the purpose of the event is to foster positive relationships between youth and officers. Elementary school students are selected each year by principals in Ocean Beach and Naselle School Districts. These students are given the opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for themselves and their family members and to spend quality time with law enforcement officers “up close and personal” in a positive and non-confrontational environment.
The effects of the program are multi-faceted with the key benefit being the development of better and more trusting relationships between law enforcement and the community.
More than 20 officers from Long Beach Police Department, Pacific County Sheriff’s Department, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington State Parks, Washington State Patrol, and NOAA donated their time to make this year’s event a success. Shop with a Cop in south Pacific County has doubled the number of students the program serves since it’s beginning in 2011.
The Lost Roo provided breakfast and a venue for kids and cops to get to know one another. Don Bennett of Simpli Edibles provided the featured guest from the North Pole this year. The kids had their photo taken with Santa and with their cop buddy, which are later delivered to the schools and to each of the cops.
After a hearty breakfast, the kids enjoyed an exciting ride in an official vehicle, complete with sirens and lights, as they headed to Dennis Company to shop. Each was given a $100 gift card, provided by Dennis Company and the Peninsula Rotary Club. Officers helped the students select gifts for family members and it usually takes some encouragement to get them to buy something for themselves.
Volunteers awaited the duos after checkout, where gifts were wrapped while officers helped children write out gift tags and select bows to affix. Dennis Company generously provides all the wrapping materials.
Santa had one last surprise for each of the kids: holiday stockings hand-crocheted by BJsPetProjects.com and filled with thanks to individual donors along with the Cottage Bakery and Bank of the Pacific. The children were also given gifts for each of their siblings.
For questions about the program, or if you wish to assist financially, please contact:
Keleigh Schwartz (financial contributions, sponsorship): 360-642-4431 or email@example.com
Jamie Meling (liaison to schools & law enforcement): 360-642-4002
For Shop with a Cop in North Pacific County, contact
Michelle Layman (Twin Harbors Leos): 360-942-5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org