Shop with a cop

Police officers spread joy to community


Photo by Alyssa Higgins

Police officers accompany children at Target as they buy toys. Shop with a Cop was held at Target on Dec. 4.

Kara Jefferies

Story by Logan Diggs, staff writer

Shop with a Cop is an annual event that gives police officers the chance to give back to less fortunate children every Christmas. The event starts off with an abundance of kids and their guardians — given the opportunity to be a part of this event by their caseworkers or CPS — waiting on both sides of the road in front of Target. Police officers and firefighters drive into the parking lot in a fine line with their sirens on, announcing their arrival to everyone. Once the doors are open, kids pair up with a random police officer and browse the shelves.

Originally each child was given $100, but this year the allowance was upped to $120, accompanied by a coupon from Target. The kids were allowed a total of $150. Over time, the event has grown bigger, helping more people and allowing law enforcement to supply the children with more money to spend.

My kid was getting stuff for his sister, and that makes it much more special.”

— Officer Scott Eudy

“It has been many years since I’ve been a part of this event, however it’s a very special and heartwarming thing that I feel less fortunate kids deserve,” Officer Scott Eudy said. “My kid was getting stuff for his sister, and that makes it much more special.”

The event, for most of its participants, provides the majority of gifts they’ll receive due to their difficult situations. This event is also another way for law enforcement to try to let kids know that a police officer is someone they can look to for help or assistance.

“I’ve been doing Shop with a Cop for about 25 years, and I just get so excited for this event. In all honesty, this is the highlight of my Christmas season. I get so hyped up — we worked all year to raise the money to do this for these kids. Today is just a big representation of all the efforts put into making this happen,” Public Information Officer Shawn Vaughn said. “This year is pretty special for us; we’ve been able to incorporate [ourselves] as a nonprofit initiative, meaning everything is now tax deductible. We also improved our fundraising, so we can now provide the kids with more money. I would love to see this event grow and help more kids enjoy their Christmas.”  

With constant improvements to the event every year, officers and organizers have high hopes in helping even more children in the future have a merry Christmas.

“I enjoy this event; you get to see all the different personalities the kids have, and all of them have fun,” Officer Kelly Ryan said. “Some of these kids are out here using all their money to get their family members things that they would want instead of using the money on themselves. I’ve come to love getting out there to interact with the community and make these kids happy during the Christmas time.”