Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 18, 2012

Shop with a Cop program lets youngsters pick their Christmas presents

PRINCETON — Officers with the Princeton Police Department, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Princeton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police spent Monday morning in the toy aisle.

More than 12 law enforcement officials participated in Mercer County’s annual Shop with a Cop program on Monday at the Princeton Walmart. According to Sergeant J. W. Howell with the Princeton Police Department, the program started back in the early ’90s during the Christmas season.

Howell said 22 students from Princeton Primary, Mercer, Straley, Glenwood, Ceres, Melrose, Oakvale, Spanishburg, Lashmeet-Matoaka, Athens and Sun Valley elementary schools were selected to join a member of law enforcement and shop for toys. Each child could spend $100.

Howell said he enjoys seeing the smiles on the children’s faces.

“I like watching them buy for themselves,” he added. “A lot of them don’t get to do that very often.”

Ceres Elementary teacher Lindsey Jones escorted two students through the aisles as they shopped with law enforcement.

“It is just a neat experience,” Jones said. “You get to see them pick out the toys and their eyes are bright with excitement.”

Straley Elementary School teacher Evelyn Gross said she overheard many children talking on the school bus. Some prepared lists for the shopping trip, she said. But other students had a hard time deciding on what toys they wanted for Christmas.

Aiden King and Adam Kanaday, both kindergarten students from Sun Valley, shopped with Officer B.E. Grimm of the Princeton Police Department. The trio skipped the girl toys and went straight to an aisle filled with Nerf toys and action figures.

“I am not sure though,” King said, hand on his chin.

Jeanette Lester, 7, of Glenwood Elementary School, didn’t have any trouble finding her favorites. In the buggy, she placed a doll, Disney princess items and a small toy for her sister.

— Contact Jamie Parsell at


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