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Nov-26-2008 17:56printcomments

Kids Will 'Shop With a Cop' in Mid-Valley Cities

The "Shop with a Cop" events are a great opportunity for police officers to interact with children that may only have had a negative experience with law enforcement.

Shop with a Cop event, Salem, Oregon
Photos courtesy: Oregon State Police

(SALEM, Ore.) - The need is greater this year as state troopers, county deputies, and city police officers reach out to help over 600 kids shop for special gifts this holiday season at three locations in Linn, Benton and Marion counties. It is part of their area annual "Shop with a Cop" event.

For the 14th year, Corvallis and Albany-area police officers will help local disadvantaged and foster children shop for Christmas gifts as part of the local "Shop with a Cop" program. Last year, 181 children left with smiles on their faces after purchasing videos, clothing, toys, and other special gifts while shopping with state, county, and city police officers.

"We all are experiencing in some way the impact of the economy and most of these children would receive very little even in the best of times," said long-time "Shop with a Cop" organizer, Ms. Reita Wyatt.

"Hopefully we will be able to meet or exceed the number of children helped last year. If it wasn't for the outpouring support from the community and law enforcement agencies, these events would not be possible each year."

The first event is set for Saturday, December 6th, at 8:00 AM, as police officers from the Oregon State Police, Corvallis Police Department, Benton County Sheriff's Office, and Philomath Police Department will team with kids at the K-Mart store located at 400 NE Circle Blvd. in Corvallis.

A second event will be in Albany on Saturday, December 13th, at 7:30 AM, where police officers from the Oregon State Police, Albany Police Department, and Linn County Sheriff's Office join the children at the Target store located at 2255 14th Avenue in Albany.

Participating children at the first two events were selected by local and state family service agencies. Each child has a $25.00 shopping limit and winds their way through the store with a police officer in tow to find gifts for family and friends. Both Target store in Albany and K-Mart store in Corvallis are sponsoring ten children each. Anyone who can help by making a donation to the program can send a check payable to "Shop with a Cop" and mailing it to "Oregon State Police, 3400 Spicer Drive, Albany, OR 97322".

The third event, the Mid-Valley "Shop with a Cop" sponsored by the nonprofit organization Law Enforcement for Youth, is scheduled also on Saturday, December 13th, from 8:30 AM to noon at the South Salem Walmart located at 5250 SE Commercial Street SE in Salem.

Over 400 children will be provided a $25.00 gift card made available through donations and grants, and then they will shop with troopers, deputies, and officers from Salem Police Department, Keizer Police Department, Marion County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police. Children invited to shop are from several local assistance agencies; Salem and Marion County Housing Authority, Salem and Keizer Police Department community schools, Children of Incarcerated Parents, Women's and Children's Crisis Centers, and Catholic Community Services.

The "Shop with a Cop" events are a great opportunity for police officers to interact with children that may only have had a negative experience with law enforcement. "It's such a great sight to see so many officers, troopers and deputies working together with the community's children. At the end of the day it's so gratifying and leaves one with such a warm heart for your entire efforts, said Oregon State Police employee Sabrina Owings.

Donations to help the Marion County-area "Shop with a Cop" event can be sent to Law Enforcement for Youth (LEY) at 4676 Commercial Street SE #374, Salem, Oregon 97302. For more information:

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Dezarrae October 17, 2016 6:50 pm (Pacific time)

Where do I sign up my child this year to shop with a cop for Marion County?

Henry Ruark November 27, 2008 7:35 pm (Pacific time)

P.T. et al: Appreciate your sharp insights here, but the "know your cop" campaign has much more positive history and motives than may at first appear. Your words reflect cultural and social influences we need to be very aware about, and to take precautions, to, as you suggest. Let's welcome and aid any kind of positive effort we can find and check to make sure this one is as it is made to appear, too.

P. Ticru November 27, 2008 1:47 am (Pacific time)

Gee, why would small children have "only had a negative experience with law enforcement"? Maybe for the same reason my toddler got a "Report Suspicious Behavior" coloring book from Homeland Security at PDX. We are obsessed with violence, and entertain ourselves with it every time we "enjoy" an action or horror film. Start 'em young! Call this propaganda or a PR campaign, but it seems clear they don't want the kids to think of them as the "bad guys"! We should all examine why they just might think exactly that...

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