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 Tuttle Road Walmart location on December 11.
The students participating will be tasked with assisting children as they get pictures taken with Santa, wrapping gifts, and serving refreshments.
“This is the first year Clark State’s criminal justice program has engaged in this process, but we look forward to continuing to partner in this event,” said Karen Benton, assistant professor of criminal justice at Clark State. “It is a priority for our students to engage in activities that allow them to have interaction with and a positive impact on the citizens in our community.”
Clark State student Palonnie Halfmoon, a criminal justice major and security cadet at Clark State, will be participating in this activity.
“I wanted to participate in ‘Shop with a Cop’ because I shopped for a family in need when I was younger,” she said. “It was great to see those kids enjoy Christmas just like myself so it would be great to see these children enjoy Christmas just as much as I did when I was a kid. I am doing this because I want to help better the community and I look forward to see the kids’ faces light up.”
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 5 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, 21 families, with a total of 48 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.”