The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Kids, cops go shopping


December 21, 2017

Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Department

Members of the Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Department gathered with 10 young people for the department's first Shop with a Cop. Officers and youth headed into Longview for a bout of Christmas shopping. Photo courtesy of the sheriff's department.

Last Saturday, 10 young Wahkiakum County residents and 10 members of the Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Department descended on a Longview Walmart for a bout of holiday shopping.

It was the department's first Shop With a Cop event, and Sheriff Mark Howie said it came together in a hurry.

"(Undersheriff) Gary Howell and I were talking about setting it up for next year," Howie said Tuesday.

Then Emergency Services Director Beau Renfro said he had money to do the program this year.

In off hours, Renfro operates an internet pearl sales business, and he asked customers if they would make donations for kids; the customers came through with approximately $4,000.

They contacted the Stars program, which solicits presents for children from low income families, and were quickly given 10 names of children ages 8-16.

"We contacted their parents and got their approval," Howie said. "Then, at a staff meeting, we asked for volunteers to go shopping on a day off, and everyone raised a hand."

On Saturday, the kids met the officers, were sworn in as mini-deputies, complete with a badge, and then headed to Longview. On their return, they had a pizza party, courtesy of Sharon's Pizza Mill, while presents were wrapped by Stars volunteers.

"It was probably one of the best days of the whole year," Howie commented.


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