Barrington students ‘Shop with a Cop’
Vince Polizzi (left) and Police Chief Jerry Libit look for clothes Dec. 8 during the Barrington Police Department's annual "Shop with a cop" effort at the Lake Zurich Target store. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:28PM
LAKE ZURICH — Barrington police officers got into the holiday spirit Dec. 8 during the eighth annual Shop with a Cop at the Lake Zurich Target.
Sponsored by the Barrington Police Benevolent Association, this year’s effort benefitted 20 local families, providing gifts to 34 children. That number marked the most students, all from Barrington School District 220, that have ever participated in Shop with a Cop.
In addition to holiday gifts, the Barrington Police Benevolent Association also hopes the effort provides local children and families a positive role model.
This year, there also were several changes to the event.
Due to the large number of students participating, the students were led around the store in two groups. The first group arrived ready to shop at 7 a.m., but first took advantage of a breakfast donated by Target. After an hour of shopping, the second group of students arrived for breakfast and then set off on their own shopping tour.
In the past, the police officers have only shopped with kids from the elementary and middle schools; however, this year older kids from the high school participated in the event. The high school students were each given a $100 gift card and they were given the option of using it whenever they wanted.
After shopping around, each student got an additional wrapped, age-appropriate gift.
“It definitely puts smiles on all the officers faces,” said Kevin Croke, president of the Barrington Police Benevolent Association. “We see so many negative things, it’s nice for us to give back to the community.”
Students couldn’t hide their excited as they walked in the store. Several officers expressed similar feelings.
“It’s exciting and fun, we get to help out kids that are in need of a good holiday,” said detective Lori Allsteadt, who was in charge of organizing this year’s event.
Target also donated two bikes that were raffled off, one for a boy and one for a girl. The Barrington Police Benevolent Association also teamed with Jewel-Osco, and at the end of the event, each family was presented with a Christmas dinner, and free ice cream at Oberweis.
Including one fireman, there were a total of 17 officers that participated in Shop with a Cop.
Officer Mike Hanson called this effort one of the best experiences the officers get to be involved in every year.
To donate to the Barrington Police Benevolent Association, contact the Barrington Police Department.