Local law enforcement for the 15th year went shopping at the Tillamook Fred Meyer on Saturday, Dec. 21. The aim of the Shop with a Cop program is to build trust and rapport between the children in the area and law enforcement.
“We are so excited to able to celebrate this as our 15th year,” a Tillamook Police Department press release said. “Over the years, we have served so many children in need. We are now serving children who their parents are past participants.”
The program originally began in 1978 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was designed to give children who have experienced a negative contact with law enforcement a chance to purchase Christmas gifts for themselves and family members. That might include being removed from home, a death investigation or other unpleasant encounters.
It also serves to enhance the image of the police in the eyes of those children. The program has reportedly been a great success in Tillamook County and has become an annual tradition Tillamook law enforcement and Fred Meyer.
The goal is to have around 60 children ages 4-10 from Tillamook County who will join the officers and deputies for a Saturday shopping trip. Each child will receive around $100 to shop with. To date, the program has served more than 810 children. Donations to the program are accepted year-round.
Saturday started off with a breakfast provided by Fred Meyer’s Deli. This breakfast will be a great ice breaker for the officer and child. After breakfast, the officers and children start shopping. The kids can shop for themselves or their family. The first rule is to have fun. It was noted that the Fred Meyer staff is known for happily accommodating this event.
Law enforcement from Tillamook Police Department, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, Rockaway Beach Police Department, Manzanita Police Department, Oregon State Police, and personnel from Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay will be on-hand to escort the children for shopping.
The program is funded entirely by donations. Organizers thanked the community for continuing to support Shop with a Cop.