Walker Co. Shop With a Cop
A parade of police cars and firetrucks can mean several different things, but with 21 kids along for the ride, they can only be headed to one place.
"We pair them up with a police or firefighter do a parade from the police dept up to walmart then do a shopping spree with them," says Captain Stacey Meeks with the Lafayette Police Department.
This weekend marked their 11th Annual Shop With a Cop.
Officers say over the years, they’ve seen it all and they’ll do anything they can to protect the kids’ Christmas.
"Parents unfortunately will try to return items to get money back that has happened in the past," says Meeks.
So they’ve worked with Walmart to remedy the loopholes.
"We try to help provide Christmas for children who wouldn’t have it otherwise," says Walmart Store Manager Jeff Perry.
Meeks says the hardest part of this event is seeing kids spend their $150 dollar allowance on things other than toys for themselves.
"It touches your heart because a lot of times they don’t ask for things for themselves. They want to get their parents a gift or clothing items or food," says Meeks.
To ensure the kids are able to purchase toys and gifts they want, Meeks says his agency often pays out of pocket.
"Routinely every officer here that you see will come out of pocket with money for the child in addition to what the department gives them," says Meeks.
The shop with a cop program has grown nationwide.
However it originated 10 years ago in Lafayette Georgia.
"The store that I was in previously did not have this program and they have since then started it," says Perry.
"We’re proud that it originated here in Lafayette. We’re very proud of that," says Meeks.
The participating agencies are featured in the Walmart World Magazine.