The annual Shop with a Cop holiday treat was once again a big hit earlier this month, as police officers from across Kitsap and Mason counties got the opportunity to make the season merrier for 140 children.
“This annual event is a favorite for the officers of the Bainbridge Island Police Department,” said Bainbridge Island Police Department Chief Matthew Hamner. “One of the most satisfying acts of service is being able to bring joy to a child in need during the Christmas season.”
This year was the first year that children from Bainbridge Island were among the shoppers, with the Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island having identified nine children to participate.
The kids were escorted in buses by deputies of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office to Walmart, where they were greeted by deputies and officers from across the two counties. Each child had $125 to spend on whatever they wanted — as long as their purchase included either a pair of shoes or a warm winter coat.
Many children also chose to purchase gifts for family members, which were later wrapped by Santa’s elves. The kids also got to have their picture taken with Santa, and received a winter hat directly from the big guy himself.
After shopping, each child also received a bag of goodies that included a hot dog, candy, ornaments and other toys.
The event was attended by 10 members of the Bainbridge department, including: Hamner, Deputy Chief Jeff Horn, Officer Joshua Buonvino, Officer Carla Sias, Officer Chuck Kazer, Officer Gary Koon, Officer John Ledbetter, Officer Cameron Lewis, Officer Dale Johnson and Police Clerk Kelly Eisenhood.