Shop with a Cop
Puyallup Police and Pierce County Sheriff's Department sponsor Shop with a Cop
Posted on 12/20/2019
Puyallup Police and Pierce County Sheriff's Department sponsor Shop with a Cop

It was a day the students will remember for a very long time.

December 19 began with a message to each of the students to report to the office. For some it was a complete surprise. They had no idea why they were heading to the office when school had just begun for the day.

When they arrived, they were greeted by School Resource Officers who told them they would spend the day with police officers and sheriff deputies shopping for the holidays along with kids from other Puyallup elementary schools. They would also be having lunch with the police officers. 

Next, they were on their way to ‘Shop with a Cop.’ The students were introduced to one another and they got milk and Happy Donuts. By the time they reached their destination the students were fast friends.

One student from each of Puyallup School District’s 22 elementary schools was chosen for the Shop with a Cop annual event. The purpose of Shop with a Cop is to foster positive relationships between youth and officers. Young kids, K - 6th grade are selected each year during the end-of-the-year holiday season to shop at local area stores to purchase gifts.

This is the second year that Puyallup Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department have teamed up and made it a combined event. It is the tenth consecutive year that Puyallup Police have held Shop with a Cop.

Shop w a cop
As the students from each region arrived at their destinations, they were introduced to other police officers or deputies who would help them shop for holiday gifts and spend the day with them.  Some started at Fred Meyer on South Hill with Pierce County Deputies, others at Best Buy with Puyallup Police Officers.

Next, all students, police officers, and sheriff deputies met at Mod Pizza where they had lunch together.  There were tables of gifts for the students, donated by Dicks Sporting Goods and Pierce College. After lunch some were off to Walmart and others to the downtown Fred Meyer to continue the fun.

A day that is so much more than shopping

As the students and police officers began shopping it was clear this event is so much more than shopping for gifts. The kids weren’t shopping only for themselves. They were choosing presents for moms, sisters, nieces, nephews, and many more.

Shop w a CopDakota from Spinning found a way to give back to her school. She picked out some items for her classmates and for the school “Viking Victory” where students who receive classroom rewards dollars can ‘buy’ items from the store.

“A lot of these kids put themselves last on the list. We know we picked the right ones,” said Puyallup Police Officer and SRO Mark Ketter.

Having the opportunity to spend the day with a number of police officers and sheriff’s deputies, and to be pampered by them, was the experience of a lifetime for many of the students.  They had a long lunch together where there was lots of laughter and time spent getting to know one another.

Ketter said the event is an opportunity for these young students to meet the School Resource Officers who they will see in the schools on a regular basis as they transition to junior high and high school.

A community event

Puyallup Police Officer and SRO Mark Ketter has coordinated the Shop with a Cop event for the past 10 years. “Every year the community steps up to help. I don’t have to go find them. They come to us,” says Ketter.

This year’s community participants who came together to help make this experience special for these students are:

   Fred Meyer in downtown Puyallup
   Fred Meyer on South Hill
   Best Buy
  
Walmart
  
Pierce College
  
Mod Pizza
  
Dicks Sporting Goods
  
Puyallup Recreation Center

South Hill Fred Meyer Store Manager Melinda Akana said, “It’s a privilege to be able to host this event today, and we hope that we can be a part of it every year.”


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