The Shop with a Cop annual tradition for the Riverbank Police Services (RPS) and Riverbank community has been ongoing for over 10 years. The annual event was celebrated once again at Kohl’s in the Crossroads Shopping Center, staged on Thursday, Dec. 12. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department vehicles lined the front of the store for the afternoon of shopping at Kohl’s.
The 45 kids that were selected for the shopping spree were escorted by deputies from their homes to the store. Many of the children were excited and some were a bit nervous but those nerves seemed to wear off as they hit the store and shopping began. The kids have a specific amount that they can spend on shoes, clothes, and if they have enough left over, some toys.
There are several officers that volunteer for the event that bring their wives or family members as reinforcements to ensure all have a successful shopping spree. Participating for the fifth time in the Shop with a Cop event, Detective Harris and his wife Raena took eight-year-old Alexander around the store looking for some great finds. Deputy Gin had two little ladies to shop with this year that were seven and eight years old. Deputy Arroyo at one point was searching with Bianca to find the right size Converse sneakers.
The youngsters were treated to a very special afternoon of shopping which they were all excited to be a part of with assistance from the deputies, shedding a different light on what their perception may be of law enforcement. The participants are selected through referrals and are in an age range between two and 14-years-old.
The celebration continued with a pizza party at the Riverbank Community Center after all the shopping bags were filled. The party featured many surprises including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus that included presents. There was also a visit from the Grinch again this year, enjoying the festivities along with the families.
With the Shop with a Cop event, the warmth and positive interaction between children and law enforcement continued in the City of Action for another successful year.