Originally Published: November 20, 2017 6 a.m.
For the 20th year, nearly a dozen area law enforcement officers will join with children to shop for Christmas gifts for their families in the Shop with a Cop program.
The event, to be held Dec. 16, gives children 7 to 12 years old an opportunity to see an officer in a non-threatening situation. It fosters a positive relationship between the two, while also allowing the child to provide for and contribute to their family’s Christmas.
All of the children – this year, police are hoping for 90 – involved in Shop with a Cop are special and many are in difficult situations either at home or at school. They’re referred to this program by area schools, community members, and organizations including Child Protective Services, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, The American Red Cross, local school districts and area law enforcement and fire agencies
Each is given an allotment of money to spend for needed items as well as gifts for family members and loved ones.
Donations from organizations, and businesses, and individuals make the program work.
It starts at the Prescott Valley Library, where each child is introduced to an officer, who volunteers their time to participate in the event.
At about 7:30 a.m., the child and the officer then drive, with lights and siren, in a procession from Prescott Valley, traveling on Highway 69 to the Walmart on Gail Gardner Way in Prescott.
Santa Claus is scheduled to arrive at Walmart that morning, and the group will then have breakfast and spend the morning shopping together. Local mascots will be making surprise visits throughout the morning as well. In the past, we have been joined by Eddie Eagle, Deputy Do-Right, Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog.
Then the motorcade heads back to arrive in Prescott Valley about 10:30 a.m.
For information on how to contribute to the program, please call Prescott Lead Police Officer David Fuller at 928-777-1915.
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