Lodge 12 of the Fraternal Order of Police provided a unique way for men and women in uniform to give back to deserving children in Hopkinsville Thursday evening.
It was Shop with a Cop, where law enforcement officials each take a child on a special Christmas shopping trip to Walmart. Deputy Mike Velez with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office explains.
“A young man or a young lady usually goes out shopping with a police officer for themselves and their parents or their siblings,” Velez says.
He and his wife, Sandi Velez, helped nine year old Joseph Richardson cross items of his holiday shopping list, picking out gifts for each of his family members. Joe Varney, Vice President of Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 12 says Shop with a Cop provides a teaching opportunity for the children.
“Far too often in our society, young children, their only interaction with the police is when they see bad things happen, so we like to reinforce to the children that cops are the good guys.”
Ten year old Tyjairoia Johnson found everything she was looking for with the help of Christian County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tracy Cooksey.
“We picked out some Ninja Turtle and some Spongebob for my brother Zarius, and picked out some White Diamonds for my mom, Tiara Chester,” she says.
This isn’t the first year Cooksey has volunteered.
“This is my third year doing it, and I enjoy doing it for the kids,” Cooksey says.
Johnson says she enjoyed the experience, too.
“It’s the best day ever!”
Shop with a Cop is held every year in Hopkinsville.