Salisbury PD teams up with kids for “shop with a cop” event
Kids from the Eastern Shore Psychological Services Program and cops alike were grinning ear to ear as they stocked their carts with presents. The event, "Shop with a Cop" brought Salisbury police officers and children together to show them that the boys in blue could be their friends too.
"It's great every year always turns out to be a great success and it's just good to watch the kids hanging out with each other because a lot of them have mental illnesses, autism, learning disabilities just social issues in general," said Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program worker Erin Carrington.
The kids received $20, paired up with a local police officer and headed out into Target to shop for items for either themselves or for their family members.
"So the whole time they're shopping the police officers are helping them budget their $20 they're keeping track of what they're buying and everything and then they also develop little just fun relationships with each other," said Carrington.
"I got a diary of a wimp kid and I got a pink necklace," said Matthew Berkeridge.
"He gets a really big enjoyment of coming here with the cops he feels safe but also at the same time he feels like he's learning something that life skills so it helps out," said Matthew's father Jimmy Berkeridge.
But with a day filled of fun, toys, and lots of popcorn, there's a deeper purpose behind the event.
"It's very important that we come out here and establish this because when they see stuff like this in a situation like this we're relaxed there's no stress everybody is here to talk to you and we're here to help," said Salisbury police officer Aaron Hudson.
And not only do the kids develop a relationship with police officers, but they also gain a friend for life.