December 9, 2014 | Texarkana, Arkansas and Texarkana, Texas Police Departments held their annual shop with a cop events today. Texas side officers shopped with children at Target while Arkansas side officers were at Walmart. Both departments arrived at the stores with a long convoy of police vehicles with their lights and sirens blaring.
TAPD used its force today to help further the relationship with the Arkansas-side citizens. More than 35 officers and 70 children came out today. “This year for Shop with a Cop was the most successful we have ever had,” stated TAPD spokeswoman Kristi Mitchell.
Mitchell describes how many children’s interactions with law enforcement have been mostly negative. The purpose of this event is to get the police officers out in the community to portray themselves in a positive light. Mitchell states, “This is something to get them [cops] out there and show that we are there to help and want to be there. We want to be a leader in the community and to step forward if they need us for anything at all. We don’t want them to be scared of us or to feel that they cannot come to us for anything. We are there for them.”
All available officers were in attendance today to show support for the children in the community and to let them know they are valued. “Unless the officer is working the street today and taking 911 calls, they are here,” stated Mitchell.
The pictures from TAPD’s event are below:
The police department was not the only ones in support of the cause, as many members of the community have shown an outpouring of support, helping to make this event possible.
Several businesses, such as Orange Leaf and On the Border donated percentages of their sales, as well as individuals with contributions.
“The list of sponsors goes on and on. Anyone from Mil-Way to the random citizen who sends in $25. They don’t understand how much that helps and how it contributes,” stated Mitchell.
The fun doesn’t stop here, as Cops and Kids Night is coming up next week, which involves loading kids into police cars and spending time with them to help foster positive relations.
“Next Thursday evening we are going to take children to Pizza Inn. They will meet other police officers for a night of camaraderie and fellowship. The hope is to develop strong positive relationships with these children that will last throughout the future.”
Texarkana Texas Police Department’s Shop With A Cop was just as successful. “We are taken 100 kids and giving them an opportunity to shop. An officer is assigned to a child and the officer takes the child around the store to buy what the child wants,” stated TTPD spokesman Aaron Brower. The pictures from the TTPD’s event are below: