Shop with a Cop makes Christmas special for Hartselle children
A parade of Hartselle Police Department vehicles made its way to Walmart in Hartselle Dec. 15 for HPD’s fifth annual Shop With A Cop event. The event is an opportunity for children to go on a ride along with a police officer and purchase items for themselves and their loved ones. Police Chief Justin Barley said that he had wanted to do a Shop With A Cop event for years but the funding did not materialize until 2019 when Woodmenlife Insurance Company reached out offering to donate funds to the department for something special.
“It was the week before Christmas break when we got a call from Woodmenlife saying they had some money to give away if we could figure out something to do with it and we knew it would be perfect for Shop With A Cop,” Barley said.
Since its inception it has grown each year with continued support from Woodmenlife, as well as Hartselle Kiwanis Club,The Hartselle Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Fraternal Order of Police and private donations.
The children who participate in the program are selected through the school system with help from counselors as well as nominations from Shining Stars.
“We typically average 10-15 kids per year and honestly it’s one of our favorite days of the year,” Barley said. “The opportunities to interact with our community in a total positive way is tremendous because the nature of what we do limits our chances for something like that.”
After completing their shopping the children are treated to Pizza Ed and have an after party where they can wrap gifts they purchased for loved ones.