– Press release
On Saturday, December 13, approximately 50 families from the Eastern Sierra had an early Christmas thanks to Shop-with-a-Cop. Children from the families were identified by local law enforcement and picked up by their partner for the day in a police vehicle and taken to breakfast at the Bishop Country Club.
After a hearty breakfast, the law enforcement personnel and children slowly drove Code 3 from the golf course to the Bishop Country Club where each child had $220 to shop for Christmas gifts for family members. After the officers and their young partner finished shopping, volunteers wrapped the gifts, photos were taken with Santa, and they returned to their homes for an early family Christmas.
Many of these families would not have had much of a Christmas if it wasn’t for Shop-with-a-Cop. The idea for the program was introduced to the Eastern Sierra by MLPD Sergeant Rick Moberly four years ago. Other Eastern Sierra law enforcement agencies quickly jumped on board, and the program has gotten bigger each year. The participating agencies in 2014 were:
Mammoth Lakes Police Department
Mono County Sheriff’s Office
Bishop Police Department
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office
Mono County Probation Department
Inyo County Probation Department
Bishop Paiute Tribal Police
California Highway Patrol, Bridgeport Office
California Highway Patrol, Bishop Office
United States Forest Service Law Enforcement
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Shop-with-a-Cop would not happen without the generous support of the community and the K-Mart in Bishop. Approximately $14,000 was raised through donations, mostly from individuals who heard about the program. More money than was needed was raised and the extra funds will be used for a new program, Shop-with-a-Cop–Back to School which will be held in August.
Special recognition must go to K-Mart and its manager, Oscar Saucedo. Each year they have gone above and beyond to support this cause. They provide an additional $20 gift card to each child, donate all the wrapping paper and bows, and provide space for the wrappers.
Shop-with-a-Cop organizer, Sergeant Rick Moberly, said, “I got the idea of Shop-with-a-Cop from San Diego PD, the second largest city in California. They hosted 320 kids this year. Our little agencies were able to take care of 50 families. I think that shows how much support we get from the people in the Eastern Sierra.”
MLPD Chief Dan Watson said, “I look forward to this each year. I asked one of our young Reserve Officers, while waiting for the gifts to be wrapped, what he thought of the program. His responded that this was about the best thing he’d ever done. I believe the officers, deputies, and volunteers get as much enjoyment out of Shop-with-a-Cop as the kids and their families.”