SEBA has offered the Shop With a Cop program for many years and traditionally hosted similar shopping sprees during December. However, it became increasingly apparent there was a great need in the community to buy clothes, shoes, backpacks and other items months before the Christmas event was offered.
Responding the need, SEBA created the Back to School event.
Shop With a Cop events are common among other law enforcement agencies but SEBA attempts to make its program stand out by targeting children who are over the age of 10. These older children are often neglected by other assistance programs – not for nefarious reasons but because it is often easier to give toys to younger children. Older children also learn to ask for less.
SEBA members, who include deputies, probation corrections officers, DA investigators and other law enforcement professionals, partner up with deserving children to offer them a shopping spree during which they can buy items for the school year.
The children have $200 they can spend on themselves in order to help them be prepared for school and have a successful year. The deputies help the kids pick their items and keep track of their budget as they make their way down the aisles.
SEBA cherishes its Shop With a Cop programs not only because of the obvious benefit of giving tangible items to needy children; but because of the less evident asset of spending time with members of the community. SEBA members get to spend time with kids – outside of any law enforcement capacity – and simply have fun with them, getting to know their interests and likes through the items they pick out. The time spent boding with the kids is priceless.
The kids get necessary school items and the deputies get to know they made an impact in a child’s life; the benefits of Shop With a Cop are definitely reciprocal.