Photos by Don Backman
Fred Meyer in Tillamook on Saturday December 17th was the happiest place on earth. It was hard to tell who was smiling more — the kids or the officers, or the employees, or the other shoppers. There were smiles for miles as 50 kids paired with local law enforcement to get some shopping done for their families (and themselves) for Christmas. Each child was also gifted a winter coat. The annual Shop with a Cop event is supported entirely by donations; financial contributions are collected year-round. TPD would like to thank the Tillamook County community & Friends of Tillamook Police for the money raised to make the event a success.
This is truly a community event with gift wrappers from TLC Credit Union, and greeters were from Oregon Coast Bank — greeting kids and their parents/guardians, giving them T-shirts. Kids came in the North doors, checked in, went to a breakfast table, paired up with an officer who gave them a candy cane and a name tag, they got a $150 gift card, got their picture taken, shopped, checked out, got their gifts wrapped, and then were given their coat.
The law enforcement/first reponders that participated.
Nick Troxel, Tillamook Police Department and event organizer, “It never ceases to amaze me of people’s generosity. Thanks to generous donations, we are able to buy coasts for each kid. People who just happen to be shopping will come up and donate.”
Corey Hollis, Tillamook Police, when asked why he does this, responded, “To Hang out with kids, and helping them.”
Alan Young, from the US Forest Service with Noah, commented, “It’s awesome, and hopefully help bridge the gap, so they are not afraid of us, they see that we’re there to help.”
Isaiah McReaken, Coast Guard, Tillamook Bay is his first station, he’s working on getting qualified as boat crew, said what he likes about the program, “It is giving back to the community, and it puts a smile on their (kids) face.”
Richard Adams TPD Chaplain: talking about what he likes about Shop with a cop, “Every time is as much fun as the last, and you see the big ol’ grin on their face.”
Julia Haymaker, kids Caden and Case, were their with the boys’ grandmother, Lisa Daniels, was very happy to be able to bring the boys.
Caden commented, “That was the best time that I’ve ever had.” And kept repeating this with a big smile after checking out his cart.
Best overheard quote “I saw santa. We fist bumped.” Little boy was checking out and Santa walked up and spoke with him, and the little boy asked
where the reindeer were, so Santa said they were up on the roof because there was no room for them in the store. The little boy smiled…
Best overheard comment from a TPD officer outside. “It was fun. I liked it and I’ll do it next year.”
This is the first year each kid has $150 to spend, though sometimes officers will pay extra themselves when it goes over. Tillamook Police Chief Ray Rau shared that they didn’t keep track of the total with his shopper and the basket totaled over $200.00, “I reached into my pocket and covered the difference. That kid was leaving with everything they picked out. This is truly what community is all about, the kids.”
Fred Meyer employees said, “This is my favorite day of the year.”
If you are interested in supporting this event, please make a check out to “The Friends of Tillamook Police” or go to the website at www.friendsoftillamookpolice.org and send it to the Tillamook Police Department at, 210 Laurel Avenue, Tillamook, OR 97141