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Despite coronavirus pandemic, ‘Shop with a Cop’ program with Kingston police continues

Click to play video 'Kingston Police host “Shop with a Cop” shopping spree despite pandemic' Kingston Police host “Shop with a Cop” shopping spree despite pandemic
WATCH: The pandemic can't stop annual 'Shop with a Cop' in Kingston. Mike Postovit reports. – Nov 23, 2020

Some shoppers may have noticed a large police presence at the Cataraqui Centre on Monday.

A couple dozen officers were called to the mall, but not to deal with an emergency. Instead, they were there for the annual “Shop with a Cop” event.

The initiative usually pairs a grade 7 or 8 student with police officers as they go on a shopping spree. Sgt. Steve Koopman with Kingston police says not even COVID-19 could play the role of the Grinch this year.

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“Unfortunately, though, it’s a different type of shopping because we don’t have the children with us, which obviously is disappointing for the officers,” Koopman said. “They loved being paired up with an individual student here within the Kingston area.”

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Police didn’t want to put the program on hold, so they asked the 40-plus students involved to submit lists, and on Monday, officers tried to fill those lists. Koopman says it would have been nice to have the students on hand to help, but said those doing the shopping did just fine.

“It’s nice to have the direction. They know what they want and some of us officers, unfortunately, are getting a little long in the tooth that we’re not quiet sure (which) electronic game or Pokemon they want, or more often too they’re shopping for their family, which is important.”

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Koopman says the 40-plus students received $200 gift cards from the mall as well as other gifts from participating stores. The Kingston Police Association also assisted financially with the event.

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This marked the sixth year for “Shop with a Cop” and all involved are hoping things will be back to normal next year.