Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Whether shopping for others or yourself, getting everything on a Christmas list takes some help. That’s what dozens of city students received Saturday when they shopped with a cop. Gigi Barnett has more.
There is nothing like a school cop to keep the Christmas budget in check. It’s what Baltimore City students learned while they shopped with a cop at Wal-Mart in Glen Burnie. The school resource officers became personal escorts for the kids, did the heavy lifting and even checked prices.
School police chief Marshall Goodwin says the shopping trip is also a teaching moment for the students, because it builds trust.
“I want to make sure that the young people understand that we’re not there to arrest people. We’re there to make sure the schools are safe and to build relationships,” said Goodwin.
Every child receives a $100 Wal-Mart gift card. The school police raised $5,300 for this shopping spree. If the kids go over, the officers sometimes dip into their own pockets.
“When I was growing up, you always wanted a bike. So that’s the first thing I ask them: `Do you have a bike?’ A lot of them say no so I make sure they get a bike,” said Officer Lawrence Smith, Jr.
The students were handpicked by their schools to go on the shopping spree.
More than 50 students shopped with a cop Saturday.
After all of that shopping, students were also treated to lunch.