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Caledon OPP host Shop With A Cop at Bolton Walmart

December 13, 2018   ·   0 Comments


Police, parents, and children rose before dawn attending Bolton’s Walmart for the annual Caledon OPP Shop-with-a-Cop on Dec. 8

Now in its seventh year, Shop-with-a-Cop is a program that shines the spotlight on children in need in the community. That need, whether it be financial or emotional, is determined by Caledon schools and this year the CCS Exchange, both of whom nominated children they feel could benefit from the program. This year, the OPP received $13, 000 dollars in donations.

“Not only does it help families in need, but it helps with relationships between the police and these kids, said Prov. Const. Joe Brisebois, who, though now on parental leave, has helped organize the event for the past three years as well as this one. It builds positive relationships with police, because the adults in these kids’ lives have sometimes been involved with the police where the results have not been favourable. Instead of listening to the parents, these kids are able to see (the police) in a different light.”

Const. Ed Hickey, in his second year of volunteering for the program, paired up with his shopping partner eight-year-old Lucian Chunn and headed immediately for the electronics isle, where Chunn knew right away he wanted a game for his 2DS and an action figure for his collection. Hickey, who had chosen to be present over his granddaughter’s party, chaperoned Chunn around, reminding him of his $100 budget.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to spend some time with these guys and make their Christmas a bit brighter,” said Hickey, when asked about the choice between helping a child in need and his own granddaughter.

This year saw about 90 children receive gifts of their choice, and then some. Each child is allotted roughly $113 dollars to cover their gift and tax, but if an officer notices that a child needs some extras, like socks for example, concessions are made on a child by child basis.

“They just get a feel with their interaction, for instance if the child is buying laundry detergent and bedsheets or something, said Hickey. Last year, a girl, who was nominated because her father had recently died of cancer, bought gifts for the hospital staff.”

The gift giving does not stop there. Caledon Fire 305 in Inglewood, which accumulated 500 toys in their drive the week before, was giving out an additional toy at the cash, as well its members joining in with the OPP at Walmart.  In fact, cops from all over the Greater Toronto Area were involved, including Caledon OPP and Caledon OPP Auxiliary, Dufferin OPP, UCRT, Port Credit OPP, Queen’s Park OPP Inspector, and Special Constables. About 58 uniformed officers and firefighters took part in the festivities.

After the shopping is over and each gift is tagged with the child’s name, three school buses are loaded up and the children are transported to Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School, where volunteers are ready with activities, a hot pancake breakfast and armed with gift paper to wrap the presents for Christmas Day. Santa Claus has even arrived from the North Pole to stop by and take a picture with each child, who will find a $50 donated gift card from Garden Foods in their envelope.

“Shop-with-a-Cop is one of our favorite events, said Hickey. While building positive relationships with our youth, we get to add a much-needed holiday cheer to families in need in our own community.”



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