Shop with a Cop

Local Heroes Bring Holiday Cheer
Posted on 12/19/2022
On Thursday, police officers from throughout the county got an opportunity to give back to the community through the Douglas County School System’s annual Shop with a Cop event. 

The event, which was made possible by donations from several community sponsors, allows students to select Christmas presents for themselves and their families while accompanied by local police officers. 

“I really want to thank Captain Walter Williams for his hard work, because he’s really got a drive to do this,” said DCSS Chief of Police Tracey Whaley. “We’re so thankful for our partners from local agencies who have shown up to help our students shop and for those who’ve helped fund this event for us.”

Each year, students are chosen by their schools’ counselors. This year, 89 students were allowed to spend up to $200 on items like clothes, shoes, toys, and other necessary products. 

While shopping, students were accompanied by officers from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Douglasville Police Department, Douglas County 911 dispatchers, and local Georgia State Patrol officers.Student shopping with a police officer

“Within their allowance, clothes are the first priority, and the officers are instructed to help students shop there first because that’s important with it being wintertime,” said Williams. “But after that, they’re free to purchase toys or other things that they would like for fun.”

For Williams, helping to lead the event holds special significance for him. As a child, he grew up in low-income housing, and it brings him joy to help students who may face similar situations as he once did around the holidays. 

“I grew up in low-income housing, and Christmastime was always a hard time for us,” said Williams. “I’m not saying anything bad about my childhood, but a lot of these kids aren’t able to get certain things or their parents can’t afford them. This program helps these kids know Christmas and enjoy Christmas, and it helps ease the burden for these families.”

Student riding a bicycle during Shop with a Cop eventAlong with helping students and their families, Williams and Whaley both added that the annual Shop with a Cop event showcases each local agencies’ commitment to serving the community in any way possible. 

“We’ve partnered with several local agencies,” said Whaley, “and it shows that everyone is vested in serving the community any way that we can and not just from a safety and security aspect.”
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