Shop with a Cop program ready to launch
Excited young faces will be joining Prineville Police officers and Crook County Sheriff's staff for a day of Christmas shopping in December.
The Shop With a Cop program has been in place for approximately 19 years in Deschutes County, and now Crook County is launching their own program for local youth.
Shop with a Cop is a joint venture between local law enforcement agencies and local community members. They also partner with businesses like Walmart. The primary focus is to help families who are identified by FAN Advocates of local schools, and make their holidays a little brighter. The program also provides an opportunity for children to engage in positive police interaction.
Prineville Police Sargent James Peterson, who has been instrumental in jump-starting the local Shop With a Cop program, indicated that it is a national program, and Crook County has assisted with Deschutes County program for several years.
"We are going to do an initial start-up program handling ten families," Peterson said. He pointed out that they would be local families.
Peterson explained that there have been some misconceptions in the past, in that many local residents assumed that Crook County was included in the Deschutes County initiative, but this will be the first year for Crook County to have its own program.
"It will be for Crook County kids. Period," he emphasized. "Before, Crook County kids were never included."
Peterson indicated that family participants are selected through the FAN Advocates in the school districts. He said it will mirror the Deschutes County Shop With a Cop program.
Once the families are selected, they also identify some needs and wants for the holiday season. This is then coordinated with officers from the Prineville Police Department and Crook County Sheriff's Office, as they prepare for a shopping trip with the kids.
The kids will be picked up from school on December 18 and transported to Walmart in Redmond for a fun shopping trip with local law enforcement officers.
"A lot of people are hearing about it, and we have gotten a lot of donations from the community, and lots of groups are helping," said Peterson.
He pointed out there are lots of groups, including Crook County Rodders, the Band of Brothers, Elks Club and Citizens Academy--as well as many local businesses, who have helped raise money. The program is completely based on support from the community.
Community Service Deputy Jamie Stone, of the Crook County Sheriff's Office, has helped with the program in Deschutes County in the past, and is looking forward to the Crook County Shop With a Cop program.
"It is very exciting to be able to bring this once-in-a-lifetime experience to our local children and families," said Stone. "I, personally, am very excited at the much higher probability of seeing that child again later on down the road around town. The positive interaction and fun we have that day forges a bond and a trust with the children and families and makes their holidays brighter."
Stone has also seen a lot of support from the local community.
"The response so far from our businesses and citizens in Crook County members has been amazing," she exclaimed. "This program, while facilitated by the local law enforcement agencies, would not be possible without the community support that we are receiving. We are so proud of our community and honored to be a part of it."
Stone and Peterson are currently working on a Holiday wrapping donation drive to collect donations of wrapping paper (partial rolls welcome), gift bags, tissue paper, ribbon, adhesive bows, tape and adhesive gift tags. These donations will be used to wrap the gifts the children purchase on the day of the event.
Collections will start on Nov. 1 and end on Nov. 15. Donations can be dropped off at the Crook County Sheriff's Office, the Prineville Police Department, Robberson Ford, or Prepper Up.
Shop With a Cop timeline
Nov. 1 -15: Accepting donations for Holiday wrapping supplies. Donations can be dropped off at Crook County Sheriff's Office, Prineville Police Department, Robberson Ford or Prepper Up. Other donations check or cash only.
Dec. 18: Local students to go on shopping trip with Prineville Police and Crook County Sheriff's office staff.
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