Cape Cod Police Officers, Children Turn Out for Annual ‘Shop With a Cop’ Program

Shop with a Cop

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HYANNIS – Scores of Cape Cod children and Police Officers turned out for the annual ‘Shop With a Cop’ program on Wednesday.

The program connects area police officers with underprivileged children across the Cape for a day of holiday shopping.

Yarmouth Police Officer Diana Wells brought ‘Shop With a Cop’ to the mid-Cape eight years ago, and says that along with providing underprivileged children an opportunity to go holiday shopping, a major goal of the program is to form a positive bond between the children and area police officers.

“So they can get to know us, get to ask us questions, and just see that the police aren’t always the scary people. A lot of times we come into contact with them in situations that are less than positive, so we really wanted to show them the other side of police officers,” Wells explained.

“It’s also to give them a better Christmas. A lot of these kids come from underprivileged homes where they maybe don’t have extra money for gifts for Christmas, so we like to take them out and have a special Christmas holiday.”

Officers from across the Cape met area youth for lunch at Sam Diego’s in Hyannis before heading over to shop for gifts at Kohl’s.

Wells says every police department across Cape Cod is participating in some form of the ‘Shop With a Cop’ program.  

“From Bourne to Provincetown. We have almost every department on the Cape participating, and the few departments that aren’t here are doing their own ‘Shop With a Cop,’ so really every department on the Cape is doing some form of ‘Shop With a Cop,’” said Wells.

Sam Diego’s covered a free lunch for all officers and children involved, handed out gift bags, and even had a surprise visit from Santa Claus.

Sam Diego’s owner Bob Kershaw says it marks the third straight year the Hyannis location has opened its doors for the event.

“It’s just that time of the year where everybody needs to participate. Certainly, doing it for these kids is a wonderful experience for us. Nobody does enough of this type of thing at the end of the year so this is just a thrill for us,” said Kershaw.

“We try to add on a little bit every year to make it a little better of an experience for them.”

Following lunch at Sam Diego’s, officers and children went over to Kohl’s, where each child was handed a $125 gift card to purchase gifts for themselves and their families. Officers were assigned to small groups of children to assist them in shopping and paying for the gifts.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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