Thursday, November 23, 2023

Season of giving begins

Officers from the Northville Township Police Department
spent a few hours last week participating in Crafting with a
Cop at both Ridgewood and Winchester elementary schools.
Officers helped students create paper Thanksgiving  turkeys,
 superhero masks, pumpkins, puppets and other artistic efforts.
Students were encouraged to interact with officers during the
community outreach event designed to promote positive
interaction between officers and students. 
Again this year, local police departments are exercising their "protect and serve" oaths with the annual Shop with a Cop and other charity donation opportunities throughout the area.

The purpose of the events is to foster positive relationships between youth and officers, according to law enforcement professionals. The Shop with a Cop program includes children, usually kindergartners through sixth grade students, who are selected during the holiday season to shop at a local store to purchase gifts for members of their immediate family. Each child is accompanied by a local police officer and is given a small amount of money to spend, normally $50-$100 depending on the size of the child's immediate family. The children are escorted through the store and helped to choose appropriate gifts for each family member. The children are told, and understand, that the money is not for personal use and must only be spent on gifts for family members. After shopping, police officers often treat the children to lunch, help wrap their gifts, and continue to get to know the children in the community they serve.

National reports have negatively impacted relationships between police departments and the residents they continue to serve. 

Locally, however, officials agreed that these community programs like Coffee with a Cop and food and clothing drives along with visits to schools and day-care centers have a positive result with children, and parents who interact with them. The programs, according to national law enforcement officials, help develop a better and more trusting relationship with police and the community.

The shopping effort is primarily funded by sponsorships from local businesses and corporations, although many of the department officers personally donate to ensure that as many children as possible are involved in the program. Beginnings of the Shop with a Cop program vary, but all historical accounts include the passing around of a police hat among officers who donated to help buy toys and gifts for families in the community.

In addition to Shop with a Cop, many police departments have organized winter clothing donation drives and holiday food drives and other efforts to help provide for those in the community.


Canton Township Police officers will collect donations of new or gently-used coats and other winter wear from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. this Sunday,  Nov. 26 in front of the Meijer store at 45001 Ford Road in Canton. In addition to coats and jackets, officers hope to collect donations of scarves, hats, gloves and other items for local children and families in need. All donated items will be shared and distributed by local charitable organizations throughout the community, organizers said.


Inkster children have a chance again this year to Shop With A Cop.

Registration, limited to Inkster residents, is available until 6 p.m. Nov. 30. Applications for the event are available at the Inkster Police Department, 26279 Michigan Ave. in Inkster and Inkster City Hall at 26215 Trowbridge St. or online at

The Shop With A Cop event will take place on Friday, Dec. 15. 


The 2023 Shop with a Cop registration in Romulus is now under way. 

Applications are now available at the Romulus Police Department where they can be submitted when complete. Only Romulus residents will be considered for participation in the annual event. Organizers suggested that parents hoping to have their children participate this year complete the application and detail the reasons the child should shop with a cop this year.

Applications will only be accepted until Nov. 27 and notifications of those selected will begin Dec. 4. The shopping trip is set for Dec. 15.

This is an annual event designed to help those in need during the holiday season, officials said. Families already receiving holiday assistance from another organization will not be eligible. 

Applications can be obtained at the police department headquarters at 11165 Olive St, Romulus., MI 48174.  Applications are available online at

For more information, contact Monique Talley (734)942-6843 or


The Westland Police Department is sponsoring the 7th Annual Stuff a Squad Car tomorrow, Nov. 24. The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Meijer store located at 37201 Warren Road.

There will be free photos with Santa with the donation of a new unwrapped toy. 

Also joining the effort this year from 10 a.m. until noon will be 100.3 WNIC to play Christmas songs.

 From noon until 2 p.m., 106.7 WLLZ will be on site playing classic rock hits. 

The Stuff a Squad Car event is a benefit for the Westland Goodfellows “No Child Without a Christmas” program, and supplies local children with presents that they might otherwise not receive.