Santa’s helpers wear badges

Santa’s helpers traded in their red and green fashions for blue and khaki early Saturday.
It was the 11th annual “Shop with a Cop” with members of Tillamook County’s law enforcement agencies being joined by the state police, the U.S. Forest Service and the United States Coast Guard.
Approximately 80 children got a chance to shopping with a “Cop” at the Tillamook Fred Meyer store Saturady, Dec. 17.

By Brad Mosher

There was a small run on Barbies Saturday morning … and bicycles too. Star Wars toys also started disappearing from the shelves in the store.
According to Tillamook Police Detective Nick Troxel, the response to program has been very good.
“We had a number of children coming through who were pre-selected. The children were selected from law enforcement referrals and DHS referrals. We have a number of agencies here, including the Tillamook County Sheriffs Office, the Oregon State Police, Tillamook City Police, the U.S. Forest Service this year and I believe BLM (Bureau of Land Management is here as well, along with the Coast Guard from Cost Guard Station Tillamook Bay (in Garibaldi),” he said. In addition, there were also law enforcement personnel participating from Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach, the detective added.
Each of the children were given a card with $100 on it to spend Saturday morning.
“They also get breakfast and their photo taken with the officer,” Troxel added.
Because of the number of volunteers the children can get their gifts wrapped, the detective said. “They can take their gifts home, put them under the tree and have something to open for Christmas.
“All of these children are going to have a really good, succuessful Christmas – have one to remember,” Troxel added.
The children will remember the event for a long time, he added.
“I had a gal come up to me. She’s 20 years old and she says ‘I did this when I was 10 right here in Tillamook. She still has the photo of the officer she shopped with. It is pretty neat.
“So I know we are hitting our mark when it comes to that everlasting experience,” he added.
He also wanted to thank all the participants and volunteers. “Thumbs up to everybody coming out to help from law enforcement, to all our volunteers. The House of Grace is here. The Pacific House is here to help, the restaurant in town along with Tillamook TLC and the credit union is coming out to help as well,” he added.
Randy Jones, the store director for the Tillamook Fred Meyer store, was pleased with the turnout. “It is very exciting. I am seeing a lot of smiles,” he said.