The Northgate Target was brimming with excitement as children were paired up with officers from the North Seattle Police Precinct to shop for toys and clothing. Children’s Home Society of Washington North Seattle Family Center was chosen by Seattle police to receive the holiday Shop with A Cop opportunity at the Northgate Target.
Target hosted a welcome party over the holiday as police introduced themselves to participating families. Twenty-six children were presented with gift cards from the Seattle Police and Target with the chance to pick out something special.
“I have always wanted a doll like this but couldn’t get one,” said 10-year-old Yolmar from North Seattle holding a similar fashionable doll from Target. “She’s so pretty and I was given enough money for a special dress for her too.”
Sergeants Lauren Truscott and Jessica Taylor coordinated the event with Children’s Home Society of Washington. The officers cheerfully looked at the toy aisles while the children had a wonderful time spending their gift cards.
Building relationships between the police and the communities they serve helps support community relations. Police want children to know they are there to help in times of crisis, fear, or even religious persecution.
“It’s important to remain connected to the people who make up our communities,” Sergeant Taylor said. “Police can be perceived as strictly law enforcers and while obviously we are called to enforce the law, that isn't all we do. We rely heavily on the relationships that we develop. We hope to achieve a lasting relationship with Children’s Home Society of Washington and make a positive impression on families and their children.”
The children were also provided a wrapping station at the end of their shopping spree where they could choose to have their gifts wrapped.
“Police have very few chances in our profession to have one-on-one positive interaction with the children in our community,” Sergeant Truscott added. “Most of the time when kids see us, something troubling has happened. It’s very rewarding to do an event like this where we can laugh and just have fun together.”
Jennifer Parsons is the marketing communications manager for Children's Home Society of Washington.