Area police agencies are getting creative this Christmas season with the annual Shop with a Cop event canceled amid COVID-19 concerns.
Some, like Hoquiam and Aberdeen, are putting giving trees in their lobbies, where the public can choose an ornament with a wish from a local kid, purchase the gift, and return it to the station, where it is wrapped and eventually delivered.
Traditionally, Shop with a Cop used school districts to select kids in need. Those kids were treated to a breakfast and a ride in emergency vehicles to Walmart, where they could spend a $100 gift certificate.
Ocean Shores has modified this model for the 2020 event.
“Because the traditional event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have chosen to use funds that the Ocean Shores Police Association would normally donate for Shop with a Cop in a different manner,” said Officer Chris Iversen, the department’s Shop with a Cop coordinator. “This year, we are again working with our local schools by having them select the students based on their traditional criteria. We will then contact the parents or guardians of those children who are selected and obtain a list of wants/needs.”
Police Association members will then do the shopping, wrapping, and delivering of gifts to the children at their homes, said Iversen.
“It’s not Shop with a Cop, but it still gives us an opportunity to help out in our community and, hopefully, make some children happy,” he said.