20 local kids pair up with police for Shop With a Cop

Kids ‘Shop with a Cop’ on Black Friday

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MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. — At The Mall at Greece Ridge, an unusual crowd could be seen working its way through Black Friday sales. 

Deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office took 20 kids shopping as part of Shop With A Cop. 

Armed with $500 gift cards, the group took on Target, Walmart, and Dick’s Sporting Goods to get the kids some early Christmas gifts.

It was facilitated by the Education Success Foundation — a local nonprofit that works to connect disadvantaged students with educational opportunities. The shopping spree started this morning with a trip to their headquarters in the Maplewood neighborhood.

While parents and family members knew what was in store, the gift cards and shopping spree were a surprise for the kids. 

Seven-year-old Da’Markell (left) and Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Miller (right) discuss Da’Markell’s wish list (Hailie Higgins / WHEC)

“This has been a rough year for us, so it is nice to have this,” mother Kelly Whaley said. “I don’t know about everybody, but I know for me it would have been not a great Christmas, so to have this is really awesome.”

Whaley’s 7-year-old De’Markell was paired up with Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Miller.

Although he didn’t get everything on his list — which included a motorcycle — he did get some toys, a water bottle, and new winter boots from Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

Deputy Miller said that he and his colleagues were happy to spread some holiday cheer, and make positive police connections in the community.

“I don’t think kids get to see the other side of it, I think you see — what they see in the media, and they see what’s on TV,” Miller said. “They don’t get to see the personal side of it.”

The $500 gift cards were all donated by Renewal By Andersen, a local window and door replacement business. While Rochester has had many Shop With A Cop events throughout the years, this was the first for both Renewal By Anderson and the Education Success Foundation.

A Monroe County sheriff’s deputy pushes a cart with a baby carrier on top. (Hailie Higgins / WHEC)