by Debora Black, Chief of Police, Prescott
Shop with a Cop is a program pairing a law enforcement officer with a child to give the child an opportunity to see an officer in a nonthreatening situation.
This program 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 involved in Shop with a Cop are special, and many are in difficult situations either at home or at school.
Each of them are given an allotment of money to spend for needed items as well as gifts for family members and loved ones. This event is made possible solely from donations from Quad-City citizens, organizations and businesses.
The 21st annual Shop with a Cop event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15. Each child is introduced to an officer, who volunteers his or her time to participate in the event. The child and the officer will then take part in a lights-and-siren procession from Prescott at approximately 7:30 a.m. and will travel down State Route 69 to the Walmart on Glassford Hill Road in Prescott Valley.
Santa Claus is scheduled to arrive at Walmart, with the help of our local emergency services teams. The group will then enjoy breakfast and spend the morning shopping together.
Local mascots will be making surprise visits throughout the morning. In the past, we have been joined by Eddie Eagle, Deputy Do-Right, Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog.
As in years past, approximately 12 state and local law enforcement agencies will participate. At approximately 10:30 a.m., the children and officers will return to Prescott where they will meet their parents/guardians.
Our hope is for more than 100 children to participate in this year’s program. The children, ages 7 to 12, are referred by area schools, community members and organizations including Child Protective Services, Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, American Red Cross, local school districts and area law enforcement and fire agencies.
Shop with a Cop has proven to be a very worthwhile program for the children, their families, the volunteers and our community.
In 1998, the first year of the program, 39 children were each given $60 to shop with. Last year, 114 children went shopping, each with $250. In the last 20 years, local law enforcement has taken 1,513 deserving children shopping during this special event, spending over $328,000. The Prescott Police Department has the privilege of coordinating this valuable program.