Local News

Kids Get "Shop Opp" With Raleigh Cops

Posted December 16, 2006 7:18 p.m. EST
Updated December 16, 2006 7:21 p.m. EST

— If you want to see a happy holiday shopper, tell a 12-year old he has $100 to spend anyway he wants!

That's what happened Saturday when Raleigh police officers rounded up 15 needy kids and brought them in—into a local Wal-Mart, that is—to go Christmas shopping.

The program marked the department's debut of a program called "Shop With a Cop." It's a program that has been used elsewhere, including Wake Forest and Rocky Mount, to get police and kids together outside the context of crime and complaints.

It certainly seemed like everyone enjoyed the outing. Some of the kids, who had been recommended by Raleigh Parks and Recreation staff members, led their fashion police all over the store.

Gregory Harris was looking for the best deals so he could stretch his money.

“It’s Christmas, and I wanted to get everybody something,” Harris said. He bought earrings for his grandma and a watch for his dad.

“He was real excited about shopping for other people,” Officer Stephen Hinnant said after shopping with Harris. “He had something in his heart about sharing the spirit of Christmas with everybody else.”

When Harris went a little over his $100 limit, Hinnant came to the rescue with his own wallet.

“He got me excited about Christmas, so it’s the least I can do,” the shopping cop said with a smile.