LA GRANDE – Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the police department will not hold an ‘event day’ like years past. Instead, officers will take their students out, shop, and treat them to lunch.
The annual Shop with a Cop event is an event that takes a child and pairs them with local law enforcement to give them a positive interaction. The student is usually nominated by a counselor at their school. The officer will pick up the student from school or home, depending on what’s best.
“Some of their families may not have the money to buy gifts for Christmas,” said LGPD Chief Gary Bell. “This gives the children an opportunity to give back to their families, while also giving them a positive interaction with an officer.” The event will have ten students total this year, slightly smaller than the previous. Those students will have up to $150 to spend on their families.
The officers were asked to take the students shopping between December 1st and December 18th. With the COVID-19 regulations, every student will also receive a Shop with a Cop mask to wear.
“A lot of things look different this year,” said LGPD Lt. Jason Hays. “Shop with a Cop will, as well. However, it’s an important event for the children — as well as the officers. We look forward to this every year, and we know how important it is.”
Officers will then take the student to lunch or dinner, depending on what worked best for the child, and then wrap the gifts afterward. Officers will return the child with the wrapped presents to their families.
The Shop with a Cop event is a partnership between the La Grande Police Department and Walmart. This event could not be possible without the support of our community.
Donations for the event are accepted year-round. The event cannot take place unless there are enough donations from the community. To drop off a donation, send checks payable to Shop with a Cop to 1109 K Ave. in La Grande.