News

Shop With A Cop brings holiday cheer

Written by Becky Metrick/Chambersburg Public Opinion | Dec 9, 2015 10:22 AM
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Michael Aldajuste, right, holds a stuffed bunny that State Trooper Robert Wareham found for Aldajuste little sister inside Target in Chambersburg on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Target and law enforcement officer get together to do Shopping with Cops.(Photo: Noelle Haro-Gomez, Public Opinion)

(Chambersburg) -- Checking out Nerf guns, sweaters and classic movies, members of Franklin County's law enforcement came out to assist kids from the Boys and Girls Club shop during this year's "Shop With a Cop" event Tuesday evening.

Four Pennsylvania State Police Troopers, six Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies and one Chambersburg Police officer took 15 kids from the Boys and Girls club around Target, 913 Norland Ave., around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Each group was given $75 for holiday shopping, and the kids led the way on what they wanted to spend the money on.

Assets protection team leader Jessica Doubell, the organizer of event, said she has been in charge of the event for the last two to three years.

"I think it introduces the younger generation to the police officers, because they're not just big scary guys," Doubell said. "They're creating a friendship... A nice bond between the kids and the officers."

PSP Trooper Ben Frantz, between assisting his group decide between action figures, explained why it was important to law enforcement to be there.

"We from the Pennsylvania State Police are very excited to work with Target to try to bring the community together because we don't have a lot of opportunities to have soft contacts with the public," PSP Trooper Ben Franz said. "For us to be able to work with the kids one on one and expose them to the other side of law enforcement, we are all here to help. A lot of people nowadays don't understand that. So we're very excited to come and participate."

Franklin County Sheriff's Department Ben Sites agrees that this type of event helps the kids see law enforcement in a different light.

"I think it's a good intersection with kids to see us in a non-authoritative manner," Sites said. "It's good for us to get out and do something out of the norm, too. And it's fun!"

Sites said he was able to teach his 10-year-old shopper a little bit about budgeting, but the kids were teaching the officers too, with their selflessness int heir shopping.

"They compromise and spend less on themselves and more on the rest of the family," Sites said. Many of the officers shared similar stories, including one that said in the end, their BG Club partner did not buy themselves a present at all.

After buying the presents, the group were taken to a secret wrapping station where Target employees and the law enforcement officers assisted with wrapping the gifts. Everyone was also provided cookies, brownies, other snacks and a mini flashlight from the Franklin County Crime Solvers.

In the end, the children had presents and had a good time with their law enforcement partners.

"A Target Team member said they walked in and all they saw were smiles," Doubell said.


This article comes to us through a partnership between Public Opinion Online and WITF.

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