The Edmond Sun

December 2, 2013

Local FOP seeks Shop With a Cop donations

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Local youngsters will have less money for shopping with a cop, a program with short- and long-term benefits for the community, unless generous citizens come to their aid.

For the past two decades, the HOPE Center of Edmond has given Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 136 the names of eligible children ages 4-14. Each year a few weeks before Christmas, the children get to buy gifts; on Sunday they will Shop With a Cop at the Target on East Second Street.

Edmond Police Detective Jimmy Gwartney said the program is designed to create a positive experience for children, but the blessings go back to the police force as well.

About 30-60 cops get to shop with the shoppers, who often put the needs of other family members above their own, Gwartney said.

“It’s an awesome experience to give back to the community and to give youth an opportunity to have a positive experience with an officer,” said Gwartney, who has been cooridinating Shop With a Cop for five years and involved for the last 10 years.

Gwartney said the program starts with about 75 kids, and the final number and how much they  get to spend depends on the amount of donations. Gwartney said the FOP has received about $4,500; the goal is $8,000-$9,000. Last year, 82 Edmond children participated.

Gwartney said the FOP appreciates the support of residents and Target.

Donations may be dropped off at the Edmond Police Department, 23 E. First St., or sent to: Edmond Shop With a Cop, P.O. Box 5441, Edmond, OK, 73083. Walk-in donations will be accepted through Saturday evening at the station. | 341-2121, ext. 108