A great afternoon for kids — and police officers — through PV’s Shop with a Cop

Officers helped 10 local kids shop for holiday gifts for themselves and family members through Prairie Village’s Shop with a Cop program Thursday.

The holidays can be a particularly stressful time for families facing tight finances. Atop the normal groceries to be bought and bills to be paid, the desire to provide holiday gifts for kids can make December a time for worry instead of joy.

For the eighth year in a row, Prairie Village’s Police Department and the Prairie Village Foundation have teamed up to help ease the burden on some families facing that situation.

Through the Shop with a Cop program, Prairie Village police officers escorted 10 local kids on a shopping trip to the Target in Mission Thursday. With funds provided by the Prairie Village Foundation, each kid got $200 to spend on gifts for themselves as well as members of their family. A Prairie Village resident on Thursday stepped forward with a donation of an additional $200, adding $20 to each kid’s shopping budget.

“The families are very appreciative of the program,” said Prairie Village Police Chief Tim Schwartzkopf. “The kids are always a little apprehensive at first, but once they start shopping you seem the smiles come out. And it’s always a great day for the officers. They get to get out and give back a little bit.”

After the shopping trip concluded, the officers took the kids back to the station where volunteers were waiting to wrap the gifts while the kids enjoyed a pizza party (with ice cream provided by Mely’s Ice Cream and Yogurt).