Columbus Police Department spreads Christmas joy

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Columbus Police Department is spreading Christmas Joy with their annual Shop with a Cop.

Academy Sports + Outdoors partnered with CPD and donated $200 gift cards for 10 children to shop with an officer at the sporting good store. Particpating officers took the children through the store and they filled their shopping carts with toys, shoes, sporting equipment and more.

Police Chief Freddie Blackmon told News 3 Shop with a Cop is a great way for officers to build trust with children in the community.

“It gives us an opportunity to develop a relationship with our little ones so they’ll see that police officers are human beings and they value relationships. The takeaway from this is to be able to strengthen our relationship and strengthen our level of trust between police officers and our citizens and to definitely strengthen our relationship with our business community as we partner together to make Columbus a very safe place,” Blackmon said.

The 10 children shopping with officers were referred to CPD by the Muscogee County School District. Blackmon believes the children are having a great time.

“These little ones that I’ve seen today are filled with joy and excitement in this gift giving opportunity. And for them to be able to receive these gifts so it makes a great day, the parents are here to support them, we have other police officers here providing support as well, as well as the academy sports staff. So this day is a day that we always want to cherish and understand that the police and community relationship is something that is virtually important to ensure that we have a very strong community engagement as we work together to at making Columbus and keeping Columbus safe,” Blackmon said.

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