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December 12, 2016

Shop With a Cop makes season brighter for 77 kids

It’s wonderful; the community is so generous . . . . This morning, we’ve had people stop by and put money on the table.
— Michele Arft, Shop With a Cop coordinator
They happily hopped into police vehicles Saturday morning.

Seventy-seven children joined 40 law enforcement officers for the annual Shop With a Cop event. With cops pushing carts and keeping running tallies, each child got to spend $200 at the Warrenton Walmart on Christmas gifts.

Then, the young shopper and their uniformed assistants went to Fauquier High School for breakfast and photos with Santa. Meanwhile, FHS National Honor Society members wrapped their gifts.

Social service agencies, court officers and law enforcement officials select the children for Shop With a Cop. Typically, they come from homes that police have visited.

The program seeks to spread some holiday cheer and to give the youngsters more positive experiences with law enforcement.

It works, says Fauquier Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Jones, a 17-year-veteran of the Christmas tradition.

“Years later, some of the children will come back and say, ‘Remember me?’ ” Sgt. Jones says with a smile as he helps two boys with their selections in the Walmart toy section.

“I got to ride in the front! So, they knew I wasn’t arrested,” says the young man shopping with sheriff’s Lt. Sal Torelli and traveling in his new Ford Explorer with its “police package.”

“It’s wonderful; the community is so generous,” says Fauquier Shop With a Cop coordinator Michele Arft, a domestic violence resource officer. “The spaghetti dinner and golf tournament (fundraisers) were big successes.

“This morning, we’ve had people stop by and put money on the table.”

Sheriff’s Detective Dawn Rosenberry said: “It’s just a special time with kids and to see their excitement. It’s a good time.”

Fauquier Cops for Kids, the sponsoring organization, will treat 25 teenagers to a similar shopping spree and pizza party Wednesday night.
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citizen observer · December 13, 2016 at 9:20 am
Thank you to all our law enforcement officers for all you do.
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