‘Shop with a Cop’ Event Fosters Community Spirit and Joy

Children, staff, officers, and their families worked together to make it fun and memorable day (photo S Jason Cole).

In a heartwarming display of community spirit, the Excelsior Springs Police Department teamed up with local children for the annual “Shop with a Cop” event, spreading holiday cheer and strengthening community bonds.

The event kicked off at 8:15 am on Saturday at the Excelsior Springs Middle School, where police officers and staff met with eager children. The morning began with donuts and relaxed conversations as officers got to know the kids and helped them make gift lists for their families.

At around 8:50 am, the children climbed aboard the Excelsior Springs Chamber Trolley. In a festive procession, with children waving in the windows, police cars and a fire truck, with lights flashing and sirens blaring, escorted the trolley to the local Walmart. The children and officer’s arrival was met with cheers and applause from customers and staff, creating an uplifting scene of community support.

Inside Walmart, the children, accompanied by officers and staff, navigated the aisles enthusiastically. Their faces lit up with joy as they carefully selected gifts for their families. The atmosphere was filled with laughter and fun as the children interacted with the officers, modeling clothes and testing out toys.

The event continued back at the Middle School, where members of the High School Student Council awaited to help with gift wrapping. This collaborative effort added a personal touch to the gifts, making them even more special and ensuring no stress for the families involved.

The highlight of the morning was the surprise visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who brought smiles and excitement to the children, topping off the day’s festive mood. Before they left, the kids enjoyed a pizza lunch and gave heartfelt thanks and goodbyes to their new friends.

Police Chief Gregory Dull reflected on the event’s significance: “This is one of our most important events of the year that allows us to give back to the community and really just have opportunities to spend time with kids in a way that we don’t normally get to. This gives us an opportunity to interact with them in a very different and hopefully very positive way and just to build that relationship between the kids and the police.”

“Shop with a Cop” provided a memorable holiday experience for the children and fostered a deeper connection between the police and the community, demonstrating the power of unity and goodwill. The Excelsior Springs Police Department’s commitment to community engagement shone brightly, showcasing the true spirit of the season.

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