LOMPOC — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and county Deputy Sheriff’s Association partnered with Walmart of Lompoc for the first Shop with a Cop event to help spread holiday cheer to 26 children.
The Deputy Sheriff’s Association was contacted by the Lompoc Walmart manager, who expressed desire to hold the event at his store. The program has been around for the past 10 years and aims to create positive interactions and relationships between children and law enforcement. Participating children are identified by schools, churches, youth organizations and social services agencies, said Raquel Zick, sheriff’s spokeswoman.
Walmart matched donations with the SBCDA and 26 children were paired with a member of the association and given $200 to spend. The “shopping buddies” included Sheriff’s deputies, custody deputies, district attorney investigators and an emergency communications call taker.
“The SBCDSA feels very honored that Walmart management reached out to us,” SBCDSA Vice President Jazzmine DeForest said in a news release. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to help coordinate an event that brightens the lives of children who have been through some tough times in their young lives and this year especially. From distance learning, to parents losing their jobs, to lack of community and school events like sports and dance, 2020 has been very hard on so many families.
“The SBCDSA is committed to giving back to our communities that we protect and serve everyday.”
The SBCDSA represents nearly 500 members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and County Air Support Services.
— Mitchell White