Law enforcement agencies from Platte County gave back to the community on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The 24th annual shop with a cop event was held at the Boardwalk Walmart with the Platte City Police Department, Platte County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol taking part in the event.
Sheriff Mark Owen noted this year that 38 children were able to shop with a $250 budget — with at least $175 having to be spent on clothes.
There is a reason behind that based on past experience. Owen recalled a time when one shopper wanted new shoes since his were two sizes too big and stuffed with newspapers to make them fit. Another was underwear three sizes too big and held on with a safety pin.
“This is amazing, the citizens have been a blessing to us and have supported us,” Owen said. “Without the citizens of Platte County this wouldn’t be possible. This is a way of giving back not only to the city but for us. These guys (deputies) see stuff all the time that isn’t good. We go to domestics, everyone is wanting to fight and argue. It is a good thing that is a positive and you get to have fun. It puts faith back in people.”
There were 54 deputies that volunteered for the event and with spouses and significant others helping out, there was plenty of help for the shoppers. Platte City had 10 officers and 35 volunteers to help with 42 children — different than the ones PCSO shopped with — with a similiar $250 budget.
The event was started nearly a quarter century ago with a $500 donation from the Missouri Deputy Sheriff’s Association. That year 10 kids were able to spend $50 each. The second year, the local departments took over fundraising efforts and were able to take 16 kids to spend $50 each.
The money continued to grow as the years trickled on. Donations come from all over the county and a big one happened on Tuesday, Dec. 4, when Patty Farr held an auction with proceeds going toward the Platte City event. Owen, on Saturday, mentioned an elderly woman living on a fixed income donated $10 toward the cause.
“This is important,” Owen said.
Walmart also donated $2,000 for the cause.