Madawaska police launch ‘Shop with a Cop’
MADAWASKA, Maine — Madawaska Police Association members have decided to initiate a holiday program for children within the community who may have limited means for Christmas.
The “Shop With A Cop” project is a community-based effort to help local kids become more comfortable with law enforcement officers and, at the same time, get to do a little Christmas shopping for their family members to understand the true meaning of Christmas is giving, not receiving.
According to Lt. Ross Dubois, the main purpose of the initiative is to foster positive relationships between youth and officers. The Police Association is working with the local school department guidance office to select youth who may not have the means to purchase gifts for their parents and siblings.
Kids in grades K-6 will be selected and assigned to a different police officer.
Each child will be given a modest monetary amount to accompany the officer to different local businesses in Madawaska to Christmas shop for their loved ones. The money is not for personal use and must only be spent on their family members. After shopping, the children will have lunch with their police officer, wrap their gifts at the police department and continue to get to know the officer a bit better.
Officer Ryan Albert stated he is anxious to meet some of the children and work with them on this project.
“Our officers are committed to community policing initiatives and really are looking forward to doing this with youth in our community,” Albert said.
The Association has set up a GoFundMe page to accept monetary donations to help with the purchase of gifts and supplies. Anyone willing to donate can log on to: https://www.gofundme.com/madawaska-police-shop-with-a-cop, or visit the Madawaska Police Department Facebook Page to access the fundraising page.
For more information, or to donate in person, interested citizens can contact the Police Association members by calling the Police Department at 728-6356.