August 8, 2015

BTS: Shop with a Cop

With so many communities struggling to find ways to connect police officers to those they serve and protect in a positive manner, here is a thought. Many Optimist Clubs, among other service clubs and groups, host Shop with a Cop events at Christmas. Why not hold a similar event right now to help children get ready to go back to school?

I would like to take credit for this little brainstorm, but I borrowed the idea from Caldwell, Idaho where the Fraternal Order of Police recently launched its first Back to School Shop with a Cop event. Shopping day will take place on August 14, 2015 and it will be similar to the Christmas event; however, this shopping spree will find the children buying school supplies, backpacks and shoes, among other things that students need throughout the year.

Each participant will receive $200 and the police officers will accompany the young students on their shopping  trips to ensure they are using their money for the intendend purposes. As we Optimist Club members know, given the chance, the children often try to buy for others first before buying for themselves.

Shop with a Cop programs help humanize the police officers and set a positive tone betwen young people and those in authority so that if a child finds himself or herself in trouble, they are able to trust the police.

Why would an Optimist Club be involved in such a program? Because it meets two of the purposes of Optimist International:
  • To inspire respect for law 
  • To aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world
Along with our other two purposes: 
  • To promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people
  • To develop optimism as a philosophy of life, utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed
Optimist Clubs are working to bring out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves; right here, right now.

Photo credit: Canyon County Sheriff's Office


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