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Monday, January 21, 2019

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Members of the SDSU Police Department helped children select gifts at Target. (Photo: Michelle Peterson) Members of the SDSU Police Department helped children select gifts at Target. (Photo: Michelle Peterson)

SDSU Police Department Participates in Shop with a Cop

The multi-agency event helps less fortunate children during the holidays.
By Katie White

Six members of the San Diego State University Police Department helped make the holiday season a little brighter for local children in need. SDSU Interim Police Chief Joshua Mays, along with officers Julio Barrios, Jonathan Becerra, Eric Burris, Patrick McMullen and Cpl. Mark Peterson participated in the 23rd annual Shop with a Cop event during the past weekend.

More than 330 children spent a fun Saturday with local law enforcement officers. After starting the day with breakfast and a special performance at Sea World, the officers drove the children to Target. The procession was quite the sight to see as hundreds of law enforcement vehicles made their way down Sports Arena Boulevard with lights and sirens flashing. Each child received a $150 gift card and law enforcement officials helped the children select gifts for themselves, friends and family.

“It’s a great way to give back to the community,” said Peterson, the community resource officer with the SDSU Police Department. “Often times, these children will only see the police when something bad happens in their neighborhood. This event allows us to interact with them in a positive setting.”

This year’s event was hosted by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and brought together law enforcement officers from SDSU and more than two dozen of other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, El Cajon Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service.

Shop with a Cop was designed to benefit underprivileged children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. The event was fully funded by grants and donations and most participating officers volunteered their time. Participating children were identified by schools, churches and social services agencies.