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CCPD taking applications for Shop with a Cop program

By Staff | Oct 28, 2014

The Cape Coral Police Department is taking applications for its 12th annual Shop with a Cop.

Sponsored by the CCPD’s “Do The Right Thing” program, Shop with a Cop enables city police officers to spend positive one-on-one time with Cape children whose families are having financial issues. The goal is to reach at-risk youth and provide them with a chance to holiday shop for themselves and their family.

“There are so many kids out there that need a positive role model in their lives. I feel this program allows us, as a department, to show police officers in a positive setting,” Anella “Joy” Nyack, community outreach projects coordinator with the Cape police, said.

“Most of the kids we reach out to don’t have much to look forward to, especially during the holidays, but this program gives them a little hope and shows them that there are people out there that care and would like to help,” she said.

Each year, the CCPD chooses 35 to 40 students to participate in the program. The youth are picked up by police escorts and taken to breakfast, before heading to Walmart to go shopping with a gift card.

The students receive $50 to spend on themselves, as well as $20 for every adult and sibling over the age of 8 in the household. Siblings ages 1 to 7 are allotted $15, while $10 are set aside for infants.

Last year, the department selected 40 children out of approximately 100 applications.

The students not picked were submitted for the CCPD’s Fill-the-Boat program.

“So those kids received gifts, as well,” Nyack said.

She added that the department is aiming to have another 40 participants this year.

As of Tuesday, Nyack had received about a dozen or so applications.

“I figure by the end of the week I’ll at least have 25,” she said.

After shopping at Walmart, the participants and officers head to the Cape Coral Police Department, where they will wrap the presents. They then get to watch a movie and enjoy pizza and a dessert.

Afterward, the students are escorted home by the officers.

“Most kids are very excited,” Nyack said of the program participants. “It’s just like for that one day, any burden or negative thing that’s hanging over is gone. It’s like for that one day they forget.”

To qualify for Shop with a Cop, the child:

– Must be available Dec. 22 to go shopping

– Must be in kindergarten through 12th grade

– Must live in Cape Coral with their family

– Must be eligible for “free lunch” at school

To nominate a child, parents can pick up an application packet in the lobby of the Cape Coral Police Department or at the Cape Coral Caring Center, or they can visit online at: www.capecops.com.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 17; the chosen families will be notified by Nov. 26.

The Cape Coral Police Department is at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd.

The Cape Coral Caring Center is at 4645 S.E. 15th Ave.

For more information on Shop with a Cop, contact the CCPD at (239) 242-3342.