Sikeston DPS hosts 4th Annual Shop with a Cop
Christmas came early this year for around 120 children who took part in the Sikeston Department of Public Safety’s Fourth Annual Shop with a Cop event Wednesday morning at Walmart.
Sikeston DPS with employees from Patrol Division, Fire Division, Communications along with DPS Chaplains were joined by South Scott County Ambulance, Missouri Highway Patrol members from the MVI and CMV divisions, Missouri Conservation officers, Miner Police Department and Scott County Sheriff’s Office helped around 120 children from Pre-K to the eighth grade shop for Christmas presents.
In the past, the event was limited to children Pre-K to sixth grade but due to an increase in donations, junior high students were included this year.
Sgt. Tyler Rowe, public information officer with Sikeston DPS, said the children are selected on a needs basis by the schools who interact with them every day.
“This comes from the recommendation of the teachers, counselors and administration,” Rowe said. “Also, if a student is selected and they have siblings, their siblings will be selected as well.”
Rowe, who is a school resource officer along with fellow SRO Brent Mullin contact Sikeston R-6 Assistant Superintendent Kim Blissett, who organizes the logistics on the school side.
“Without the schools’ help and work Trisha Griswell puts into this event, it would not happen,” Rowe said.
The number of students chosen for the event is based on the number of donations that are accrued from individuals and local businesses. Rowe said each year it has grown and this year each student was given $200 to spend at Walmart.
Students chose everything from toys to clothes, sharing their smiles with all who took part.
“I enjoy this event every year because when these students show up and you tell them to pick out whatever they want they have the look of pure joy and excitement,” Rowe said. “This event gives us the opportunity to interact with the students and grow a bond that they might not every experience.”
Rowe said being in the schools every day, he has a relationship with some of the students, but it is exciting to see other officers and other agencies involved get that chance as well.
“I am always amazed at how many students want to also buy gifts for their siblings or parents,” Rowe said. “They don’t just think of themselves when given this opportunity but that they want to share the wealth as well.”