Fairbanks Police Department participates in annual Shop with a Cop event

The Fairbanks Police Department has been warming hearts while taking some local kids holiday shopping.
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 4:55 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2022 at 8:46 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - It has been a cold week in Fairbanks with temperatures reaching -30 to -40 below zero. But that hasn’t stopped the officers of the Fairbanks Police Department (FPD) from warming the hearts of many as they spread holiday cheer this season.

On Monday, FPD escorted another group of kids as they shopped during the annual Shop with a Cop event. Over the last 14 years, the Fairbanks Police Department has participated in the annual event.

Fairbanks Chief of Police Ron Dupee said he has been a part of the program for the last 11 years. What Shop with a Cop essentially is, he explained, is an opportunity for kids to spend the evening with law enforcement as they shop for gifts for friends and family.

“We volunteer with the school district, volunteer in policing, Fred Meyer, and other local businesses, and take kids shopping for their friends, family, or anyone who may need some extra help during the holidays,” said Dupee.

Additionally, It is also a way for officers to interact with kids in a positive way.

“The kids are our future generation,” he said. “So, we have to have that relationship. We have to start building future police officers now. So, building that bridge and communication with the kids is essential.”

Dupee said the officers get as much out of the event as the kids do. “It gives you an opportunity to interact with kids on a level you don’t get on a day-to-day basis of being a police officer.”

Kate Brandt shopped for gifts alongside Dupee. Her father was a former Fairbanks Police Officer. Brandt said this experience made her feel happy to be a part of it. “My dad used to work at the police department,” said Brandt. “I feel like it is safe for me to be around the police department, it’s nice.”

This year alone, 41 kids have participated in the program.

Various agencies such as the North Pole Police Department, Fort Wainwright Police, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks International Airport Police, and The University of Alaska Fairbanks Police Department all participate in the event put together by Volunteers in Policing.

As the kids walk side by side with officers, these kids will take home much more than presents this year. They also have made a new friend. After shopping, the kids enjoyed pizza as they wrapped up their presents. Just in time for the Christmas holiday this weekend.