Tyler County Shop With a Cop Event Held
For the past four years, local police departments have been raising money and accepting donations to fund a new program they call “Shop With A Cop.” This program is founded on the goal of bringing children joy by blessing them with a gift, and aims for them to come out with a more positive view of police. Officers want people to know from a young age that they are just people too – ones who are specifically trained to help in various situations. So each year, officers from Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, West Virginia State Police, Sistersville, and Paden City gather at Walmart just before Christmas to take local children shopping.
They begin preparation for this trip early in the year by raising money through various dinners and fundraising events.
This year, Sheriff Brian Weigle reported that because local law enforcement were blessed with many donations, they were able to give each child $250 to spend.
A handful of students from local schools are randomly selected to participate.
This year, officers were able to sponsor 11 children from A.I. Boreman Elementary, five from Paden City, and 10 from Sistersville. These children arrived early on Friday Dec. 14, nervous and eager to begin.
After each school got a group picture with officers, they rushed to their desired aisles. Children were able to pick out clothes, toys, bikes, and games with the help of officers.
It was obvious by the bright smiles and twinkling eyes that the students were immensely enjoying themselves. But they weren’t the only ones enjoying the trip. Tricia Feldmeier, Director of Human Resources and Federal Programs, said it brings staff joy to watch the children shop. This program enables staff to watch the children they regularly encounter have a wonderful and positive experience with local officers while receiving a once-in-a-lifetime gift.
Because of the generosity of others and dedication from the local law enforcement offices, 26 students were able to participate in this magical Christmas trip this year. It is with hope that this program might grow and more children get to have this amazing experience in the future.