Shop with a Cop helps heal police and community relations

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kids and officers alike look forward to Lexington’s Shop with a Cop and this year, the Lexington Police have split the shopping between two days due to COVID. The first day was on December 11th with kids recommended for the program by their school and the second day wraps up December 12th with children the cops recommended themselves.

Lexington police says 250 kids will get $150 worth of Christmas presents they get to pick out themselves. Police say while some kids run in chomping at the bit ready to pick out their toys, others are a bit more shy to be shopping with an officer.

“It can be kind of intimidating to walk in and see an officer in uniform so we really like that it gives them a chance to get to know them a little bit and see that they’re not as scary as they may look,” says Detective Kristyn Klingshirn with Lexington Police.

For one family, this shopping spree means the world. Ellen Croxford is 77 years old and has recently had to go back to work after getting custody of her three granddaughters. She says her grandkids had memories of the police that weren’t positive after they witnessed the arrest of their mom in May, so this shopping trip not only helps give her grandkids a good Christmas, but can even heal their relationship with police.

“They have felt so out of control and now they realize that you know, the police are not the enemy,” says Croxford. “They’re not people that hurt other people and take people away from them.”

Croxford says Shop with a Cop teaches her family most people are good and want to help you.

“We’re all basically in this together so we’ve got to keep a good perspective and we’ve got to help out where we can and appreciate the things that we can,” says Croxford.

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