Cecil College participates in Shop with a Cop

Published on December 21, 2018 under

Axel, Garret, and Jack at Walmart in North East, Maryland.

Public Safety Officer Garret Shaffer of Cecil College Public Safety, took four-year-old Axel Guevara shopping with Pastor Jack Cohen from Haven Community Church in North East, Md., dressed as one of Santa’s reindeer during the Shop With a Cop event. Professor Cohen is also the Department Chair of Social Sciences at Cecil College.

NORTH EAST, Md. – For the second year, members of Cecil College Public Safety took part in the Cecil County Shop With a Cop event held at the Elkton Walmart on Saturday, Dec. 15. The event, which pairs area law enforcement with local children to help ensure an enjoyable holiday for deserving kids, is in its seventh year of providing toys and gifts in fun way.

On that morning, children, along with their parent or guardian, gathered at the North East Fire Company to meet their law enforcement shopping companions. On the way to the North East Walmart, many were able to ride in an official police vehicle with lights and sirens blaring.  Upon arriving at Walmart, the children chose holiday gifts for themselves and, in many cases, a sibling or loved one.

Five members of Cecil College Public Safety each took a child shopping. They were Chief John Capozzoli, Special Police Officer Curtis Barranco, Public Safety Officer Michelle Keane, Public Safety Officer Kilah Guns, and Public Safety Officer Garret Shaffer. This event was the second time SPO Barranco and SPO Keane have participated in this event. Shop With a Cop has grown from eight children attending in the inaugural year to 104 children enjoying the festivities in 2018.

Public Safety Officer Shaffer has volunteered as a gift wrapper the prior two years, with this being his first time as a law enforcement officer. He strolled the aisles with four-year-old Axel Guevara in search of Legos and clothing items. Officials nominate families in social services, law enforcement agencies, local churches, and Cecil County Public Schools to participate.

After shopping at the North East Walmart, families returned to the fire hall for a meal while volunteers wrapped the gifts.