San Diego children receive shopping treat

December 21, 2013 by  

On Saturday, December 7, more than 300 neglected or needy children enjoyed a rare day out. It was all part of the 20th ‘Shop with a Cop’ event, an annual shopping trip that helps children who might not otherwise have much to celebrate during the holidays and, at the same time, builds positive relations between the children and local police. This year’s shopping day was co-hosted by the District Attorney’s Office and the County Probation Department, and involved more than 300 officers.

The “Shop with a Cop” day is sponsored by Target, SeaWorld, the San Diego Crime Commission, local law enforcement agencies, and STAR/PAL – a police athletic organization offering free programs for young people. Teachers and counselors selected the children from among the student populations of local elementary schools. Emcees for the event were Billy Ray Smith and Kimberly Hunt of Channel 10 News.

Shop with a Cop is designed to help children in need from throughout San Diego County. The participants are identified by personnel at churches, schools, and social services agencies.

On the day itself, uniformed officers from a number of agencies volunteered to be with the children. They started at SeaWorld for a show and breakfast, then went to Target to shop with help from their cop partner. Each child was given a $100 gift card from Target to spend as they saw fit.

Law enforcement agencies might consider working with brochure printers to create a mailer to explain the event. It might help them raise even more money to help the children in future years.