TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - For the second year in a row, Tupelo Police took area students on a shopping spree as part of "Shop With A Cop."
Police officers picked up each student from his or her school, as part of a police escort, to shop at the Walmart store on North Gloster Street.
Photo Date: Dec. 5, 2019
Police Chief Bart Aguirre (waving) and Mayor Jason Shelton (in blue shirt) and other members of the Tupelo Police Department greeted the students.
School administrators identified 16 students in need from Joyner Elementary, Lawhon Elementary, Parkway Elementary and Thomas Street Elementary.
"Each student was given $300 to shop," Tupelo Police Cpl. Alan Chavers said. "They were able to buy whatever they needed or wanted within a certain realm."
Upon arriving at Walmart, the students were greeted by Police officers, city officials and the big man himself, Santa Claus.
In charge of the event, Chavers paired officers and students with one another.
While these shopping sprees are for the students, Police Capt. Chuck McDougald said most of them will buy gifts for their families.
"That just awakens you and lets you know that these kids do think about their family and these kids do have feelings," Chavers said.
Lasonya Anderson, the mother of one of the students, said the event was a blessing.
Several school resource officers participated, and the Department got the schools' administration involved, Chavers said.
After the event, the students' time with the Police did not end there. They were brought back to the Police Department for lunch before going back to school.
One student, Tyliyah Franklin, thanked Police.
Chavers said the community really pulled through together for this event, and Police plan to do it again next year.