The Clark State College Criminal Justice students will team up with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and the Ohio State Highway Patrol to engage in “Shop with a Cop” at the Tuttle Road Walmart location on Saturday, December 10.
The students participating will be tasked with assisting children as they get pictures taken with Santa, wrapping gifts, and serving refreshments.
“This will be the second year Clark State criminal justice students have been invited to participate in Shop with a Cop,” said Karen Benton, associate professor and coordinator or the criminal justice program at Clark State. “Students previously were able to interact with law enforcement and corrections officers as they undertook the task of wrapping the gifts selected by the families.”
Benton said several students who participated last year are returning to support this effort again.
“The criminal justice majors appreciate the opportunity to assist the community and engage in service-learning activities that enhance their ability apply what they have learned in the classroom,” she said.
Wendy Holt, grants and program manager for CCSO and criminal justice adjunct professor at Clark State, said the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has been holding its "Shop with a Cop" event for the past 6 years. The event is funded by the Clark County Deputies FOP Lodge 209.
“Each year, Sheriff Burchett approves fundraisers for staff- such as the ‘No Shave’ events, allowing deputies to wear short sleeves or no ties, etcetera,” said Holt. “In turn, staff pay $25 to be able to participate in the various fundraising events. The money raised is used for the ‘Shop with a Cop.’”
Additionally, Holt said community members donate money for the event.
“This year, 17 families, with a total of 38 kids will be participating,” she said. “Each child is given $100 to spend. The items that the children purchase with their money are wrapped and sent home with them. Santa attends the event, and a light breakfast is provided to the families prior to their shopping experience.”