TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) — Texarkana, Ark., police were out in full force Tuesday morning for their annual Shop with a Cop.
“We are doing it COVID style, obviously, because of the times,” interim Police Chief Kristie Bennett said.
The department has participated in the event for more than 25 years. In the past, officers would personally take children shopping.
Tuesday’s event was different due to concerns about the ongoing pandemic. Participating children pre-shopped with Walmart managers. And while outside Tuesday, families came by to pick up their gifts.
“We decided to do it this way because we wanted to protect our officers and the kids in the community and our parents,” Bennett said.
“COVID cases are up. They are at record high numbers right now. We can’t risk anybody getting this virus and being sick for the holidays.”
The interim police chief said more than 100 children each received $125 to spend on holiday gifts. The money came from private donations and fundraisers by the Police Department.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services assisted by selecting families to receive the gifts.
“Oh, I always love it. I got a lot of kids, so it always helps out,” said Larry Nielson, one of the parents.
Reporter: “How many kids do you have?”
Vontreka Pierce, another parent, said Shop with a Cop is “... a good cause; it helps me a lot.”
On Dec. 12, 100 children from the Texas side of the city will have an opportunity to receive gifts when the Texarkana, Texas, Police Department takes part in Shop with a Cop.