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The annual program pairs officers with young children nominated for assistance by their schools

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Newberg-Dundee Police Department's Shop With a Cop program, begun in Newberg in 2011, is set for Dec. 17 and will continue the Christmas tradition.

Every December the Newberg-Dundee Police Department joins forces with the Newberg Fred Meyer store to do something special for local kids. The year 2022 will be no different.

The department's Shop With a Cop program, begun in Newberg in 2011, is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 17 and will continue the Christmas tradition.

The program started in 1978 in Las Vegas "as a way not only to provide a memorable experience and holiday gifts for underprivileged children, but as a way to improve a child's image of police officers as they often only see law enforcement in stressful and uncertain circumstances," a release from the NDPD in 2021 said.

Cpl. Del Linck, who has been involved in the program since 2016, explained in an email how Shop With a Cop works: "Children are nominated by their school counselors to participate in the program. At the event, a child shopper is paired up with an officer. The child and officer then shop for gifts for the child's family."

While the NDPD does most of the heavy lifting administrating the program, the store and the community help out as well.

"The funds used to purchase the gifts are from donations received from our community and from fund raising," Linck said. "Volunteers are standing by to help the children shoppers wrap the gifts. When the child is finished, Fred Meyer presents each child with a special gift and usually something for the family. One year Fred Meyer donated frozen turkeys to each family."

Typically, Linck said, the department pairs officers with 33 to 35 children in an effort that has gained importance over the decades.

"The primary focus is to help make the holidays a little brighter for less-fortunate families in our community," he said. "By the very nature of the program it provides one more opportunity for a positive interaction with a police officer in a non-stressful situation."

The event targets children ages 6 to 10 years old who are deemed at-risk and/or medically challenged. Participants are nominated by teachers and counselors at their respective schools, but not from families participating in the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue district's Toy and Joy program or receiving other resources.

NDPD Chief Jeff Kosmicki has praised the store's partnership with the department over the years in bringing cheer to local kids.

"Newberg Fred Meyer has been a tremendous partner in this event every year," he said in a 2021 interview. "The store donates thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise, and their employees volunteer their time and effort, not only during the event but also during fundraising efforts throughout the year. Local businesses and citizens alike donate money for the event."

He added that NDPD officers and dispatchers also volunteer their time throughout the year with fundraising events, but it isn't just the kids who are enriched as a result.

"The police department feels fortunate to be a part of this wonderful event," he said.

For more information, email Linck at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Those wishing to make a tax-deductible monetary donation can mail a check to Newberg-Dundee Police Department, P.O. Box 970, Newberg, Oregon 97132.

"A $100 donation can typically sponsor a child's shopping trip for their entire family," Linck said in a release.

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