For the last 14 years, officers from the Madison Police Department have been volunteering their time to shop with economically disadvantaged children from our community. The "Shop with a Cop" program started in 2000 and has grown over the years to include the following agencies who work together to make the holidays special for families in our community; City of Madison , Dane County Sheriff, City of Middleton, University of Wisconsin, Town of Madison, Village of Oregon, City of Monona, and Village of Waunakee. This year alone, 31 MPD officers were able to participate and take 22 children shopping and that reflects only our involvement from the Madison Police Department!
We work with school districts and other local human service agencies to identify children of families in need. The only parameters to participate are that the child is working hard at school and comes from a family facing financial challenges. This event gives the children the opportunity to interact with law enforcement in a positive environment. It also allows law enforcement to give back to their communities, and it gives the children a sense of satisfaction to be able to provide gifts for their families.
The children and officers wrap gifts together and they get to have a pizza party. Area businesses donate the money that allows this program to operate ever year. Dane County Shop with a Cop, Inc is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization hoping to grow in the future so that more children can participate.
It's important for those in our community facing economic hardship to know that there are programs being offered by the police that reflect another dimension of our desire to serve. We believe it is essential to give back to the community we serve.
Dane County Shop with a Cop, Inc.
Shop with a Cop Dane County Inc. strives to create a positive interaction between law enforcement and the community, by helping economically disadvantaged children shop for gifts for their families during the holiday season.
This post was authored by PO Norra Prohaska