Round Lake Park “Shop With A Cop” was First in Lake County
The Round Lake Park Police Department’s “Shop With a Cop” program was the original SWAC program in Lake County and has helped several thousand children throughout the past 17 years.
This years annual Round Lake Park Police Department Shop With a Cop event was on December 10th and kicked off at Murphy School in Round Lake Park. The first group of children began arriving at 4:00 PM and the 2nd group was scheduled at 6:00 PM. This gave the participating officers enough time to feed anyone who was hungry some popcorn or a hot dog and beverage before heading over to Walmart to do a little Holiday shopping. Each child was allowed a $100 in buying power, give or take a few dollars.
Heading out to “Shop With A Cop”
With their permission, I tagged along with a Mother and her three children who were being escorted by Sergeant Mike Strentz from the Lake County Sheriff Deputy Reserve Unit. Other police departments that participated along with Round Lake Park were officers from Round Lake, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Beach, and Deerfield. One officer said he thought he saw an officer from Northfield as well.
The number of children shopping with a cop was around 85 this year. The school, social workers, and churches had a lot of input on who was selected to participate this year based on needs.
The video below shows the kids getting a “Goodie Bag” at the sign in tables and then heading down to the cafeteria where they could eat while checking out the goodies in the bag as well as peeking at the prizes on the raffle table or trying on some warm clothing. Then, after being teamed up with an officer, it was off to Walmart. You can see in the video that toys were not the only thing on their list as we all headed into the clothing section. Afterwards, all the officers returned with the parents and kids in their squad cars to be teamed with another needy family. The still photo on the video below is the brand new fully outfitted Jeep on loan to the Round Lake Park PD courtesy of the Antioch Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership
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I’m still trying to resolve the video’s grainy issues. The original displays just fine