OROVILLE — Cops N’ Kids events kick off Dec. 8 in Oroville with law enforcement officers taking underprivileged children shopping from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Children are selected for the “Shop with a Cop” program based on input from teachers and counselors in the participating school districts, with a target age of 5-12 years old, or kindergarten through sixth grade.
Kids are paired up with officers from federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies, with the pairs enjoying an interactive event to build rapport. Following lunch, the pairs participate in a “Siren Parade” up and down Main Street in Oroville before proceeding to The Country Store in Oroville.
Each child is given $150 to spend, with $125 used to purchase essential and winter clothing. The remaining $25 can be spent on a toy or gifts.
The primary purpose of the program is to help local children have a joyful holiday season, with the added benefit of children learning to trust and approach law enforcement officers. The officers, in turn, reaffirm their commitment to protect and serve the community through a positive, non-enforcement event.
The event is hosted by the Oroville Police Department.
In Brewster, Cops N’ Kids takes place Dec. 15, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club.
“The event has been around for about 25 years with a few breaks of time in between,” said Brewster Police Chief Nattalie Cariker. “The event used to be at the Brewster theater on Main Street, Brewster High School, and is currently at the Brewster Boys & Girls Club/Recreation Center.”
“The Boys and Girls Club has been involved in the event for what I believe will be the third year this year,” said Cariker.
The event has a Christmas shop, which was started years ago with a few breaks in between. The Christmas shop has a section for children and adults to shop. All items are one dollar each. There will be craft zone for children, children’s carnival/game zone, hot chocolate, and cookies. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance.
A few members in the community wanted a place for children to shop for their families at a minimal cost, thus leading to the formation of the Christmas shop.
“The purpose of the Cops N Kids event is to have a positive interaction between law enforcement with children and families,” said Cariker. “The event can teach the children that police officers are good and that children should not be afraid of them”.