This is the first year for the program called ‘Police Presents’, which mirrors another effort by Riverbank police called ‘Shop with a Cop.’
The aim of the program is to provide clothing and shoes and a gift from Santa to 15 or more underprivileged children in Patterson, according to Patterson Police Community Service Officer Melissa Hardy.
“We’re hoping to get 15 to 20 kids on a list,” she said. “We’re going through schools, the Patterson Family Resource Center and contact with deputies. We’re trying to get families that need it the most.”
Deputies will pick the children up in a patrol or SWAT vehicle shortly after noon on December 20, and take the children on a shopping spree without their parents. After the spree, children will then be directed to Sacred Heart’s Father Connor’s Hall at 220 N. Salado Ave., Patterson for the pizza party with Santa, where they will join their parents.
The program is replacing an adopt-a-family program that the Patterson Police Services employees held last year. The Sheriff’s employee foundation was unable to hold the program this year, Raschel Johnson, legal clerk for Patterson Police Services said.
“When we take them shopping we’re not taking them shopping for toys,” Johnson said. “We’re taking them shopping for clothes jackets, socks and shoes — essential items.”
Hardy said the look on the children’s faces is priceless when they take them shopping.
“They’re unbelievably excited about getting to pick their own stuff,” she said.
Patterson Police Services is taking donations for the program and anyone wishing to participate or help sponsor someone is asked to call Johnson at 892-5071, option 4.
If you would like to nominate a child or children, please contact the child’s school, the Patterson Family Resource Center at 11 Plaza, Patterson or any deputy on the street, Hardy said. Children 15 and under are eligible.
According to Johnson nominations need to be in by December 1 so the children can be selected.
• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or firstname.lastname@example.org.