KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Platte County Sheriff’s Department and Platte City Police Department were a part of a 22nd annual “Shop with a Cop” on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Boardwalk Avenue.
Nearly 50 law enforcement officers from agencies including the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Missouri Conservation Department worked alongside deputies and police officers from Platte County to buy clothes and toys for 57 children in need this holiday season. The year-long fundraiser is one of the biggest for the local agencies.
The kids and officers spent most of the morning shopping around Walmart with Mr. and Mrs. Claus roaming the store. In order to support such a program, the Platte County Sheriff’s Department and Platte City Police Department held several fundraising events to be able to buy these gifts for children.
“A lot of it is through the community,” Platte County sheriff Mark Owen said. “We solicit donations with various means and the money goes into a special fund.”
Most of the money was raised by the Platte City Police Department through various events and fundraisers.
Each child is allowed to spend $200 dollars. Of the $200, each child must spend at least $140 on clothing with the balance of the money being spent on toys, small gifts for family members or more clothing if they want or need it.
The Shop With A Deputy program started in 1995. Deputies and department personnel have taken more than 636 children Christmas shopping since that first year.
Platte City Police Department chief Carl Mitchell said the between $500 and $1,000 can be raised during a junior high dance. The department can host four to six a year in addition to bingo nights and Texas Hold ’em tournaments.
Raffle tickets for a giveaway at Cosentino’s Price Chopper raised a little more than $7,000. The Pedal for Platte event also included sponsorships that helped raise money.
However, most of the money is simply donated to the departments from businesses in the Platte City community. Mitchell said Hills Brothers, Platte Valley Bank and Direct Medical recently made large contributions.
“The community — Platte City, Platte County, all of them — they support law enforcement in this county very strong. It’s not like you see in other parts of this country,” Owen said. “We’ve got good citizens here, good people, and they honestly care and they care not only about the law enforcement but they care about the community and the kids and they want this to be a good place to live and a safe place, and we’re just blessed that we get to lead the departments that do that.”