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Bainbridge police are Santa’s helpers at Shop with a Cop day
Almost a third of the Bainbridge Island Police Department volunteered in this year’s Shop with a Cop Christmas program.
The Kitsap Shop with a Cop Association hosted its 10th annual shop day Saturday, Dec. 7.
The program is designed to spread the holiday spirit to disadvantaged children and to help foster positive community relations between law enforcement and Kitsap County youth.
Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner said he and his family took a 6-year-old girl on the shopping expedition and bought her everything from stuffed animals to socks.
Afterward, Hamner explained, that they met up with the girl’s 8-year-old brother who had been shopping with a different officer. The boy promptly asked his sister to turn around, because he had bought her additional gifts with his money allotment.
“Selfishly, to a degree, I love to see my children see that, because it puts life in perspective,” Hamner said.
“I think that’s the attractive thing about police work, if you’re always giving service, you’re always appreciating where you’re at in life, no matter where you’re at.”
Hamner added that this is just one of the many things the police department has been doing in the community to further cultivate positive relations.
“You have to have a balance,” Hamner said. “Just like a parent, if you can love your child, but then you have to discipline them, it’s easier to do then if all you are is a disciplinary.”
The Shop with a Cop event brought in 115 children, many of whom are homeless and living out of shelters. Each child was given $125 gift cards to spend on Christmas shopping.