RCMP Happy Valley-Goose Bay (HVGB) got into the Christmas Spirit in a big way with the second annual Shop with a Cop.
RCMP NL partnered with the HVGB Crime Prevention Committee, local businesses and many volunteers to bring smiles and laughter to deserving young people in the community.
Peacock Elementary and Queen of Peace Middle School selected participants based on their shining personalities, leadership skills, and positive involvement with their peers around the school. Fifteen youth between the ages of six-12 were paired up with an officer for a magical day of Christmas shopping for their family and friends.
The day began with the young participants and officers meeting at the detachment to get to know one another and do some planning. They made a list, they checked it twice and then it was time to go Shop with a Cop.
The New Store opened its doors to the shoppers one hour before the store opened for the day. This gave them time to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. The happy shoppers were able to stay within their budget with discounts on items given by The New Store. After one hour of non-stop shopping, it was back to the detachment. Or was it?
While the kids were shopping, volunteers and staff were busy converting the detachment into the North Pole command center. There was a hot chocolate station, cookie station, and a special area just for wrapping presents. Special elves from the HVGB Crime Prevention Committee and HVGB Military Police were waiting to assist the happy shoppers with all their wrapping needs.
Police service dog (PSD) Jerry and his handler Cpl. Jason Muzzeral couldn’t resist the excitement of the event and stopped in for a visit. The kids were happy to meet PSD Jerry and learn more about his job with the RCMP.
When everything was wrapped and labeled, it was time to load up the sleigh, AKA police car! The kids were excited to ride in a police car to deliver their presents and surprise family and friends. It was a magical, happy time that brought lots of smiles to many faces and warmed a lot of hearts.
The magic didn’t end there! The officers had made their own list, after getting to know the kids in the morning. While they were out shopping, the officers secretly picked out a special present for their young protégés. It made for an extra special day with lots of smiles after the officers presented their gifts to unsuspecting recipients.
“Community policing is important to the RCMP,” said S/Sgt. Robert Gallant. “Events like these are an excellent opportunity to connect with the youth, give back to the community and build positive relationships and partnerships.”
Shop with a Cop was made possible by the generous donations from the Friends of the Force Charity Ball, HVGB Crime Prevention Committee, and The New Store. Many volunteers were needed to pull this off and included the HVGB Military Police and staff at the HVGB RCMP detachment.
“The HVGB Crime Prevention committee extends a big thank you to all those that helped in any way with this event,” said Stephanie Dawe, chair of the HVGB Crime Prevention Committee. “Spending time with the youth of our community and promoting positivity through activities such as Shop with a Cop has made for a rewarding year.”
A magical and fun time was had by all.