Dreamin’ of a green Christmas: Annual Shop with a Cop held Friday
Eleven Hartselle children were escorted to Walmart in style, with sirens sounding and lights flashing, when the 4th annual Shop with a Cop event returned Friday.
The Hartselle Police Department raises funds for underprivileged children who are chosen by their teachers and school counselors to participate. They are paired with a law enforcement officer and given $300 to spend on Christmas gifts.
The eager shoppers peruse the aisles with glee, wide-eyed and smiling. Police officers calculate totals for the children who select Barbie dolls, Roblox toys and stuffed animals, often choosing to buy gifts for others before themselves.
Police chief Justin Barley said Shop with a Cop is an event that he looks forward to every year that is 100 percent positive.
“We love this event so much because our interaction with the children is based entirely around fun circumstances,” Barley said. “This offers a unique opportunity for the children to really get to know who we are and see how much we really care.”
After the shopping sprees, the children were treated to a pizza party, with lunch and desserts provided by Pizza Ed and Sweet Sensations. Santa’s elves were present to help the children wrap gifts they bought for friends and family members.
Donors this year include Woodmen Life, Hartselle Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association, Hartselle Kiwanis, Hartselle Walmart, several private donors and many volunteers.
Barley said an anonymous donor who witnessed last year’s event gave $500 to help Shop with a Cop continue this year.