(Photo | Courtesy of Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office)
Planning and preparations are underway for the 2019 Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Shop with a Cop program. Shop with a Cop is a joint venture between local law enforcement agencies throughout Central Oregon, local Walmart stores, and McDonalds. Its primary focus is to help make the holidays a little brighter for less-fortunate families, and provide an opportunity for children to engage in positive police interaction.
Here are the dates for the 2019 Shop with a Cop program:
- Redmond Walmart: Tuesday, December 10, approximately 1-5pm.
- Bend Walmart: Wednesday, December 11, approximately 1-5pm.
- Bend Walmart: Thursday, December 12, approximately 1-5pm.
This will be the 19th year this event will take place. The program has come a long ways since its inception in 2001; that year, 20 school-aged students went shopping, and the $1,500 in donations came from employees at the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
During 2018’s program, 102 school-aged children (grades 1-12) participated, shopping for themselves and their family members. The students are often hesitant to get anything for themselves, instead being more concerned with the needs of their family members. The officers encourage the student shoppers get something for themselves, including a warm winter coat and a new set of snow boots. Gifts are often essential items, such as shoes, clothing, personal hygiene items, household items and other needed supplies. The program also assists children and families throughout the year with basic needs during emergencies.
Shop with a Cop is completely funded by donations from our community. Many businesses, organizations, and individual citizens give money to the program. No tax dollars are spent on this program. In addition to shopping with the students, Shop with a Cop also partners with Walmart to help provide a Christmas meal for some families. We apply 100 percent of community donations to this local program.
Participating students are referred primarily by a community based advocacy group that works directly with school-aged children at most schools throughout Deschutes County. Additional students are referred via the Central Oregon Partnership for Youth (COPY) program, which provides positive mentoring for children of incarcerated parents. The selected students are picked up by officers at their respective schools and driven to Walmart where they then enjoy a “one-on-one” shopping experience with their uniformed partner. While gifts are being wrapped, the students are treated to lunch donated by the in-store McDonald’s restaurants.
Shop with a Cop is overseen and coordinated by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, however, its continued success stems from the participation of deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, officers and deputies from agencies throughout Central Oregon, the Oregon State Police, and law enforcement from the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and BLM. Shop with a Cop has also been overwhelmingly successful in past years because of the outstanding generosity, in the form of monetary support, from local citizens and businesses. Volunteer support for the program has always been a critical part of the program’s success as well.
For businesses and citizens who would like to make a monetary contribution towards this year’s program, donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm, at the main Sheriff’s Office in Bend or at the Sheriff’s Office’s substations in La Pine and Sisters.
Checks, made out to DCSO SWAC, can also be mailed to:
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Shop with a Cop Program
63333 West Highway 20
Bend, OR 97703
We again would like to thank the many Central Oregon businesses and community members that make Shop with a Cop possible…together, we CAN again make a big difference in the lives of many individuals and families!