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Mount Pleasant Police officers team with Charleston Co. School District kids for annual shopping event

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 6:10 AM EST
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - On Friday morning, Mount Pleasant Police are taking children shopping for its annual Christmas shopping event.

They work closely with school resource officers and guidance counselors to identify students they feel are most deserving.

Mount Pleasant Police Public Information Officer Don Calabrese says they’ve been doing this event for about ten years now and it’s one that officers look forward to every year.

“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to connect with us in a different way because so many times when they see an officer it’s on a call or a traffic stop or a situation that’s not going right,” Calabrese said. “So this shows the officers in a different light, gets them to be a little bit more personable, and let’s the kids know that we’re here for them.”

This year the local schools have selected 16 elementary age kids and paired them with a police officer.

In partnership with Charleston County Schools, police officers will pick up select students from school around 11a.m., take them to lunch at Chick-fil-A and then take them to Walmart to go shopping.

Calabrese says they are awarded a grant from Walmart for this event each year. Through the grant, kids are able to shop for whatever they want for Christmas, with the help of their police partners.

Through his experience participating in this event in the past, he says it’s rewarding for officers to participate.

“It was interesting to see what they shop for because some kids are shopping for their brothers or sisters or mom and are a little reluctant to get their own things,” Calabrese.

He says officers from various units of the police department participate each year and they see it as an opportunity to mentor children in the community.

Calabrese says they were able to modify this program last year and scale it back, and they’re excited to see the program back and in full swing this year, and see it become a tradition.

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