More than 70 Baltimore City schoolchildren went holiday shopping Saturday morning with school police officers during the annual "Shop with a Cop" event.
City Schools Police Chief Marshall "Toby" Goodwin and 30 officers volunteered their time, picking the students up from their homes and taking them with lights and sirens activated to a Wal-Mart in Glen Burnie to shop for themselves and their families. Goodwin said police raised enough money for each child to have $100 to spend.
Officers reached into their own pockets, too — Officer Dave Johnson, for example, bought a bicycle for one child who had already spent his $100, Goodwin said. And he said other shoppers noticed the event as it was taking place and pitched in.
"For the police, this is about building relationships within our learning communities to remove that stigma abut negativity to police," Goodwin said. "More importantly, it gives young people an opportunity that may not otherwise have to buy presents for themselves and their families."
After they were done shopping, the students were given lunch provided by the program's sponsor, Chick-fil-A. "I was overjoyed with the support and the happiness," Goodwin said.