The Central Berks Regional Police Department hosted its 5th annual Shop With A Cop event Tuesday evening at the Target in Exeter Township. The event, aimed at fostering stronger police-community relationships while bringing joy to families, proved to be a resounding success.
Chief Ray Serafin shared insights into the event’s preparations, emphasizing community involvement in making the initiative possible. “We have a little fundraiser that we do in-house where the guys grow a beard and pay some money, that starts off our fundraising. They also go out and ask local businesses to help donate. Thanks to the generosity of the community, we have been able to grow the event each year.”
This year, 22 children from the Central Berks coverage area were selected to participate, their names provided by local schools and churches. Each child received a generous $250 Target gift card, accompanied by a $200 gift card to Redner’s Warehouse Markets for their parents, ensuring a festive meal on Christmas Day.
Chief Serafin expressed gratitude for the collaboration with surrounding police departments, noting, “We put the pitch out there across the County, and we got several officers from surrounding departments to help take kids around the store.” The joint effort showcased the collective commitment of law enforcement professionals to uplift their communities during the holiday season.
The Target buzzed with excitement as children paired up with their police officer partners for a joyous shopping spree. In addition to fulfilling their own wish lists, the children also had the opportunity to meet Santa, adding an extra sprinkle of holiday magic to the evening.
To streamline the post-shopping process, a gift wrapping station was set up at the front of the store. Chief Serafin highlighted the thoughtful touch, stating, “A lot of them are buying for family members, so we encourage them to have the gifts wrapped here so they are ready to go under the tree when they get home.”
As the Central Berks Regional Police Department continues to strengthen its ties with the community, events like Shop With A Cop serve as shining examples of the positive impact that collaborative efforts can have, bringing joy and warmth to the holiday season for both officers and the families they serve.