Battle Ground’s Shop with a Cop program helps 19 kids

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Battle Ground police officers accompanied 19 kids on Dec. 4 at the city’s Walmart to help them shop for gifts for their families and themselves.

The participating kids were nominated for the Shop with a Cop program by staff from Battle Ground Public Schools and the Rocksolid Teen Center for their exemplary citizenship and academic efforts, stated a news release.

Ten officers volunteered for the event which granted each child a $130 gift card.

This year, the Walmart Foundation provided a $2,500 Walmart Community Grant to fund the program, marking the seventh year of support for Battle Ground’s Shop with a Cop program. 

“Giving back to the community is one of the greatest joys of the holiday season and Battle Ground Walmart is proud to support local kids in need,” said Walmart Store Manager Brandi Quinlan in the release. “It’s heartwarming to see just how much our associates and the Battle Ground Police Department can help brighten the season for kids and families in our community.” 

As the kids and officers shopped, and were helped by Walmart store associates, bystandanders who witnessed the activities donated $160 for next year’s program, which is enough to sponsor another child, the release stated.

Luke James, one of the police department’s newest officers, said he participated in a similar event with another agency when he was 8 years old. James said the experience was one of his earliest memories that inspired him toward a career in law enforcement. 

“We are so grateful for the support of Walmart and from the community,” said Police Chief Mike Fort in the release. “These kids are absolutely deserving of this special day and our officers appreciate the opportunity to further build relationships with the community we serve.  Officer James’ story is a great example of how even one positive connection in a child’s life may carry a lasting impact.”   

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