Waldorf, MD— This past weekend Charles County Sheriff’s Office and some very special children celebrated Shop with a Cop at Walmart.  

On Dec.5, 77 youngsters shopped with police and correctional officers for Christmas presents during the eighth annual Shop with a Cop event sponsored by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 24.

Other police organizations were also present at this event. Including Maryland State Police, Maryland Transit Authority, Charles County Correctional Officers, and La Plata Town Police Department. 

Shop with a Cop partners children of low-income families with law enforcement officers who treat the children to an eventful day of shopping and other great festivities. The event begins when the officers meet the children at their homes and transport them to the Elks Lodge in Waldorf for breakfast.

“Programs, such as Shop With A Cop, help strengthen the bond between law enforcement and citizens.  Officers can serve their community in a different way that helps build trust and confidence in our agency. Unfortunately, many times, children only see law enforcement during adverse interactions. This program allows us to have a positive and lasting memory in their lives. It is important that our community knows we are there to help them in their time of need,” said Det.Jeffery Feldman of Charles County Sheriff’s Office. 

Then, in a mile-long convoy of police cruisers, the officers drive the children to Walmart, allowing them to operate the cruisers’ lights and sirens along the way. After arriving at the store, the officers help the children choose their gifts. Each child is allotted $200, at least, half of which they must spend on must-haves–clothing, shoes and winter coats.

The other half is reserved for toys, movies, and other items. In true Christmas spirit, many of the children spend some of their “fun” money shopping for family members. When the children finish shopping, the officers return them to the Elks Lodge for lunch while volunteers wrap the presents. 

Charles County Sheriff Officers Bobby Long, Colby Shaw, and Jeff Feldman participated in other counties Shop with a Cop event a few years before bringing it to Charles County in  2008 and have organized it every year since.

Photos provided by Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

Contact Charles Seifert at c.seifert@thebaynet.com