The town of Coatesville Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop” program is an annual event held every December, since 2003. The Shop with a Cop program joins underprivileged children with local police officers providing the children with money to shop for gift ideas for themselves and their loved ones. Shop with a Cop programs continue to break down the barriers between the community and the police with the intent of developing a more trusting relationship between police officers, town, and children. Officers taking underprivileged kids shopping for Xmas presents shows children that the police are their friends and are always there to simply help, and this interaction can make a lasting impression. Giving a young child a present, when they wouldn’t have obtained one, is such a rewarding experience for the child and the police officer.
The purpose of the big event is to foster positive relationships between youth and police. Young elementary aged young ones of misfortune, are selected each year, on a referral basis, to shop at Walmart to purchase gifts for themselves and their family. Each kid is given a set amount of cash to spend, and each child is assigned to a police, who then escorts them around the store and assists in selecting appropriate gift ideas to purchase.