It’s the season of giving, as the old saying goes, and that’s just what the Oneida Police Department plan to do by holding their third annual, “Shop with a cop.”
Shop with a cop is an event that was started by the Fraternal Order of Police, however three years ago the Oneida Police Department took over the reins. Oneida Police Chief, Darryl Laxton, looks forward to the event every year, and hopes to make this year a success, as in years past.
“It’s just a great thing,” Laxton said. “The kid’s and Officer’s both have a really good time.”
The event will take place the week before Christmas, or possibly the week of Christmas. Approximately 130 kids, from Scott, Oneida, and Mcreary County School Systems participate. Participants are selected by their own school, and once selected the child’s siblings are included in the fun. The Magical evening begins with a pizza party at the Oneida Elementary School. Immediately following the pizza buffet, the kids are transported to Wal-Mart in buses provided by the Oneida School System. The officers lead and follow the buses with lights and sirens to increase the excitement. Once arriving at the store, each child is given a number for safety, and informed that they can spend one hundred dollars on anything they want. The officers then assist the children with their shopping spree. Laxton says time spent by the officers during the event are volunteer hours, but they are happy to be able to participate and make Christmas brighter for children.
“I love this event, and it’s a pretty emotional thing for me, “ Laxton stated. “I can go into Wal-Mart, or anywhere, and a kid will come running up to me, and say hey Chief Darryl. I may not remember them right away, but it’s a good feeling knowing they remember what we helped do for them.”
Laxton says the event is fueled entirely by donations, and the department starts preparing at the beginning of the year to ensure success. Donations are tax-deductible and can be accepted by bringing them directly to the Oneida Police Department, or the United Cumberland Bank where a special account has been set up.
“Every dime goes to the kids,” Laxton said, “We want to make this event a success every year because it’s all about the kids.”