The program, held for the first time in Tualatin, lets kids buy gifts for their siblings, as well as get a surprise of their own.

COURTESY OF THE TUALATIN COMMUNITY POLICE FOUNDATION - Children in need got to do some holiday shopping with police officers at the Tualatin Fred Meyer on Thursday.For the first time ever, the Tualatin Police Department brought schoolchildren to a local department store to Shop with a Cop on Thursday.

Almost 20 police officers and staff accompanied eight children on a shopping trip at Fred Meyer in Tualatin, said Tualatin Police Chief Bill Steele. The department's first Shop with a Cop program was made possible with Fred Meyer's sponsorship and the cooperation of the Tigard-Tualatin School District, as well as the support of the Tualatin Community Police Foundation, a nonprofit set up to benefit Tualatin police, which Steele called "instrumental" in the effort.

"We worked with the schools to help us identify some kids that we could bring in and go shopping at Fred Meyer, and the kids were shopping for their brothers and sisters," Steele said. "They didn't know they were going to be getting presents later on."

COURTESY OF THE TUALATIN COMMUNITY POLICE FOUNDATION - A Tualatin police officer helps a boy shop at Fred Meyer on Thursday during the department's first-ever Shop with a Cop program.Cathy Holland, the foundation's treasurer, said, "Fred Meyer gave them a warm coat, which these kids got to pick themselves off the rack, and it was touching to see how excited they were to get a new coat. … A couple of them wouldn't take it off."

Holland said the foundation raised $1,000 for the Shop with a Cop event.

"We had collected money throughout the year," Holland said, adding, "It was our very first year — would like to do three times that next year."

Students were picked up from school and given a police escort to the store.

"The kids got to touch the (police) motorcycle and all that stuff," Holland said, laughing. "There was a lot of excitement."

Both Holland and Steele said they consider Thursday's Shop with a Cop a success. They're hoping it gets bigger in the future, too, they added.

"We are thrilled at the way it turned out and can't wait to do another event next year," Steele said.

The Tualatin Community Police Foundation relies on donor dollars to support Shop with a Cop and other programs, Holland said.

Fred Meyer is located at 19200 S.W. Martinazzi Ave. in Tualatin.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor
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