For 30 years, the Grand Junction Police Department has organized the Shop with a Cop event each holiday season and invites other law enforcement agencies from around Mesa County to join them. Shop with a Cop is a needs-based program, not a merit-based program, focusing on kids from families who have a significant financial need, and may not have gifts under the tree without some help.
Twenty-five elementary schools in Mesa County Valley School District 51 nominate two fifth graders to participate. Each fifth grader is paired with one or two law enforcement officers and has gift cards to shop. The kids and officers eat breakfast, provided by McDonald’s, and game-plan their lists. Kids shop for mom, dad, grandparents, and siblings, and usually need some coaxing to get something for themselves. The kids and officers then shop, eat lunch, pick up the purchased gifts lovingly wrapped by volunteers, and go home knowing their holiday will be a little brighter this year. This event takes place over two days, December 8th at Mesa Mall, and December 13th at Rimrock Walmart. Close to 75 officers and 50 volunteers participate to serve 50 families. Because of the generous support of Back the Badge, Moose 92.3 FM, Mesa County Crime Stoppers, McDonalds, Rimrock Walmart, Mesa Mall, Chick Fil A, and countless community members and businesses, the kids will enjoy a memorable holiday season this year!
Shop with a Cop is always a rewarding and beloved event for our department. The Grand Junction Police Department looks forward to engaging with local youth, hopefully creating lasting positive memories for these kids. The Grand Junction Police Department is grateful for the participation of partnering law enforcement agencies, volunteers, and the abundance of generosity and support from the community, to make this one of the happiest holidays possible for these kids.