Valdosta Daily Times

December 11, 2013

Shopping with the good guys

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Some parents ask police officers to “scare” unruly children. A mom or dad can’t get a small child to behave and the police officer is asked to sternly warn the child that misbehavior leads to jail.

Many police officers will refuse such a request. Many will say they don’t want the view of a police officer as the bad guy to be a small child’s introduction to law-enforcement.

Programs like this coming Monday’s Ninth Annual Shop With A Cop introduce police officers as good guys to area children.

During the event, about 25 children meet at Walmart at 3274 Inner Perimeter Road, receive Walmart gift cards, and partner with law-enforcement officers to shop.

Several children will benefit from this year’s Shop With A Cop program.

These children will come away with a new impression of law-enforcement.

“Not only does this event benefit the students, who get a little extra help during the holiday season, but it also shows these kids a different side of law-enforcement officers,” Valdosta Police Department Officer Vernotis Williams has said in the past. “Kids have a tendency to see us as bad. Through this program, they have the opportunity to see us as people they can approach.”

For all they normally do, and helping Santa Claus, too, kids learn that police are indeed the good guys all yearround.