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OPD now accepting Shop-with-a-Cop applications, donations

by CHANSE WATSON
Hagadone News Network | November 21, 2022 2:52 PM

In a county with a fairly high child-poverty rate, it’s a regrettable fact that some Silver Valley children just don’t have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Christmas experience. When families are on a budget, filling the space under the Christmas tree simply can’t be done sometimes.

For the sixth year in a row though, the Osburn Police Department and other participating agencies are hoping to fix that for some by hosting the annual Shop-with-a-Cop program on Dec. 17 and 18.

The completely donation-fueled event has Silver Valley children (who meet certain criteria) teaming up with law enforcement officials for a day of holiday shopping.

This year, participating youngsters will meet at Shoshone County Fire District No. 1, then get a ride in an emergency vehicle to the Walmart in Smelterville. It is there where they are given an allowance (normally around $100) to spend on presents they want for themselves and/or loved ones. This mini shopping spree is supervised by various law enforcement officials, who are assigned generally to 1-3 kids at a time.

When the shopping has ended, the children will come back to Osburn to eat lunch, wrap their gifts and socialize with law enforcement personnel before going home. OPD and the rest of the volunteers that make this event happen are once again planning some special surprises for the kids at the fire station as well. It’s possible that Santa may make an appearance and be accepting letters, with some help from the U.S. Postal Service.

A professional photographer will be available throughout both days to capture all the fun as well.

OPD Chief Darell Braaten explains that in addition to brightening someone’s Christmas, the event is also designed to help foster a positive rapport between local children and police.

“The goal is to build a relationship, a bonding, between our youth and law enforcement,” he said. “It allows them an opportunity to interact with us in a comfortable and safe environment.”

OPD Lt. Jason Woody, who is taking on more responsibility with the event, is looking forward to keeping the tradition alive.”

“It’s wonderful! I’m excited to team up with him and help out, because it's only getting bigger and bigger.”

Applications for Shop-with-a-Cop will be accepted until Dec. 2 and are available at all the local law enforcement agency offices in the Silver Valley.

In order to qualify, the child must be within the age group of kindergarten through sixth grade, have a social or economic need and live within Shoshone County.

OPD is also still accepting donations to fund the program right up until the shopping days and the hope is to raise upward of $10,000 to provide for 80 children.

For any questions regarding the Shop-with-a Cop program, or to apply or donate, stop by the Osburn Police Department or call 208-753-9001.

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