Maple Grove Police Department Hosts Holiday Shop with a Cop for Students
Dec 27, 2016 10:14PM
By Wendy Erlien
The Maple Grove Police Department hosted the Shop with a Cop on Dec. 14, 2016. (provided provided by the Maple Grove Police Department)
For the last two years, the Maple Grove Police Department and its partners have worked together to make the holiday season brighter for several students from Maple Grove area schools.
"We recognize that there are people that are not as fortunate as others and we want to reach out to them and make a difference in their families and their lives," Maple Grove Crime Prevention Officer Todd Strege.
On Dec. 14, 33 police officers and support staff from the Maple Grove Police Department volunteered their time and connected with 32 students in need during the second annual Shop with a Cop program at Walmart.
“You can see the immediate impact the night of the event,” Maple Grove Police Captain Eric Werner said. “You can see how appreciative they [students] are. We have a lot of fun.”
During the event, Walmart provided funds for each child to buy gifts for family members as well as a gift for themselves, according to the Maple Grove Police Department. Afterward, the group traveled to Maple Grove Community Center for a pizza party with refreshments (provided by Angeno's Pizza - Maple Grove and Starbucks) and an opportunity to wrap presents, eat dinner, and visit with officers.
Additional partners during the event included the city of Maple Grove, ISD 279 - Osseo Area Schools with transportation by First Student Bus Company. Go! Calendar Games and Toys as well as Kay Jewelers provided a tied fleece blanket and teddy bear.
“None of it would have been possible without our strong partnerships and relationships,” Werner said. “We are very appreciative of all the partnerships.”
Last year, the Shop with a Cop program connected with 20 students. This year, the program helped 32 youth. Werner said the goal is to continue to the program in 2017.
“Our officers and staff thoroughly enjoy this unique event which gives us the opportunity to build positive relationships with students within our own community,” Stege said.
Editor’s note: Do you have a story of generosity in Maple Grove? Share it in comments below or email Maple Grove Voice your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.