It’s the day local law enforcement look forward to every day of the year. Nope, not retirement. It’s the annual “Shop with a Cop” event, where officers are paired with children from low-income families for a Christmas shopping spree at the Happy Valley Walmart.
The other wrinkle is that the kids all come from families who’ve had some enforcement contact with police in the past. Shop with a Cop is an opportunity for police and kids to get to know one another in a much more positive environment.
Each participating child is provided with a $100 gift card funded through individual and business donations. Walmart wraps all the gifts for the kids, supplying gift-wrap, ribbon and tags.
Last year, 134 kids were able to “shop with a cop,” with personnel from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Clackamas County Community Corrections, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Posse, and the Molalla, Oregon City, Gladstone, West Linn, Milwaukie, Sandy, and Lake Oswego Police Departments. Over 80 volunteers who helped with administration, gift-wrapping, cart-shuttling and much more.
Kids are selected by school counselors or school resource officers. This year kids will come from the Sandy, Estacada, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Wilsonville, Oregon City, Gladstone, Molalla, Colton and North Clackamas School Districts.