DC Police Foundation hosts 100 kids at Shop With A Cop event

DC Police Chief Peter Newsham with kid at shop with a cop event at Walmart in Northeast D.C. Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 (Metropolitan Police/Twitter)

Christmas came early today for about 100 kids in the District. They participated in a shopping spree at the D.C. Police Foundation's annual Shop With A Cop event.

Police Chief Peter Newsham said, “We're trying to show them that we are friends of the young people in our community.”

At Wal-Mart in Northeast Washington, the officers and children wandered up and down the aisles.

With renewed focus on recent officer-involved shootings in D.C. and nationwide, police called this community engagement critical to building trust.

“I think they're the best,” said 6-year old Symone Caston. “They save people. And they're helpful.”

Each pre-selected child is paired with a man or woman in uniform and they can spend $100 thanks to a $10,000 Wal-Mart grant.

DC Police Foundation Executive Director Patrick Burke said, “And with all the stresses of police work, it's a great day for the police officers too.”

Most children bought clothes, toys and maybe gifts for family.

At checkout, many of them went over budget - some by just a few dollars, others by a lot more. And the officers then reached into their own pockets to make up the difference.

Seventeen-year-old Leshawn Robertson spent most of his money on gifts and necessities for his family. And he was shocked when Officers Geoffrey Napper and Chandra Merhai together chipped in an extra $250.

“It's all about giving back,” Napper said. “I'm glad I was able to be here and be a part of this.”

“Police officers are the best. I wasn't expecting all of this to be honest,” said Robertson.

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