Law enforcement brings kids on shopping spree in Milan
MILAN, Tenn. — A local city brought law enforcement and the youth together.
The Milan Police Department held their annual Shop with a Cop event.
This is where the city puts together cops and children and buys them gifts for Christmas.
The kids and law enforcement officers met at the FEMA building in downtown Milan, where the officers were paired with a child.
After every child had been paired with an officer, they departed in a precession for Walmart.
“And, you know, we’ve got a very giving community. We’ll spend 18 to $20,000 tonight, and no tax dollars are being spent. So, a hundred percent of what our citizens, our businesses, and people have given is going to a kid tonight,” said Milan Police Chief Bobby Sellers.
The children were selected after applying for the Shop with a Cop event. There were around 75 kids that were each allowed a $300 budget and a trip escorted by a law enforcement officer to the store to spend their money on whatever toys they wanted.
“Well I love it myself because you get to see the looks on the kids’ face, and they’re going in there shopping and getting things that some of them might not have the opportunity to have,” Sellers said.
Not only does this give law enforcement a chance to celebrate Christmas with children, it also allows children to see cops in a more positive atmosphere.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to impact children in a positive manner cause a lot of times when kids see police officers, it’s not the police officers fault and it’s certainly not the kid’s fault, but a lot of times when they’re interacting it’s in a negative way because of something they may have seen in the home or something like that. So it allows the kids to see us in a positive manner,” Sellers said.
This year, Milan police were excited to share that their event had grown in capacity so much they needed help.
So the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, the McKenzie and Trenton Police Departments were in attendance to help out.
For the Trenton Police Department, it was not their first time participating in a Shop with a Cop event, but it is was their first time bringing children with them from Trenton who will also got to partake in the fun.
“We were able to yield some funding this year to be able to participate with some kids and just give us a program to build on. So it’s just a special night, it’s a special evening, law enforcement being able to engage and interact with the kids, the community, moms and dads, and allow kids to see law enforcement officers in a different light,” said Trenton Police Chief Bill Cusson.
Cusson agreed that an event like this is not only beneficial for the children, but for the officers too. He says having officers from various departments under the same roof outside of service related events is good for them as well.
“This environment, with all the different agencies that are represented here tonight. The officers, you can tell they’re all talking with each other outside of cop, shop talk,” Cusson said. “Just some good fellowship, seeing some faces you haven’t seen in some time, and being able to spend some time with some good friends and partners.”
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