Some local kids may have a whole new outlook when it comes to the police. The Bixby Outreach Center teamed up with the Tulsa Sheriff's Department and the Bixby Police Department to Shop With a Cop. The idea is to get families interacting with cops in a positive light by shopping for the entire family. Forty kids got to shop right alone side of a police officer and Bixby Rotary Club Member. More than 125 people will benefit from the shopping spree. Since a child in the home is doing the shopping, organizers say they are focused on the family not the latest toys.
"They don't ask for themselves I have experienced a child asking for a Christmas tree, Christmas ornaments I've experienced a child asking for gloves a coat socks underwear not your typical I want a big toy or some electronic," says Natalie Kemmerly, BOC Executive Director.
The family member doing the shopping has a list and stickers to make sure they didn't forget anyone they were to shop for. Most of shoppers went to every department looking for a few things for each family member. Once they have selected all the gifts, the police officer and Rotarian get to shop for the shopper. This program isn't just about getting gifts. It's about making sure these families see cops in a new way.
"Maybe they have had a bad experience with a police officer or the police department. Someone maybe incarcerated. They don't have the perfect imagine of how wonderful a police officer can be," says Kemmerly.
All the families are selected through the Bixby Outreach Center. The center services southern Tulsa County. That equals eight towns they work with and more 13,000 people. The funding for this project comes from the Bixby Rotary Club and the help of Wal-Mart.