Third Annual Shop with a Cop Event Continues Legacy of Generosity

Published on December 22, 2021

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Media Contact:         

Officer Tiffany Trombley 
Neighborhood Resource Officer/PIO
(425) 587-3427

Nearly a dozen families served, including 27 children and young adults
KIRKLAND, Wash. – The Kirkland Police Department’s 2021 Shop with a Cop event took place Saturday, December 18, at the Kirkland Fred Meyer. Sponsored by the Kirkland Police Guild and the Kirkland Police Department (KPD), Shop with a Cop is a referral-based program that pairs police officers with youth in the community, who get together for a holiday shopping spree.
A total of 14 off-duty officers, sergeants, detectives and other KPD staff participated in the event, volunteering their time to serve nearly a dozen families. This year’s volunteer base included members of KPD’s extended family, including two children and four significant others, all of whom helped to enhance the shopping experience for the families. 
Roughly 35 individuals, including 27 children and young adults, were served at this year’s event. Each of our young community members was given a budget of around $100 and was encouraged to spend the money however they wished. Powerfully, most of the kids were more interested in purchasing items for their family members than they were for themselves.
The Kirkland Police Guild’s Shop with a Cop event was founded in 2019 by Corporal Doug Dreher as a way to increase positive interactions between KPD and the community. The event occurred again in 2020 but was dramatically restructured to accommodate pandemic-related limitations. When Corporal Dreher left the Kirkland Police Department for a different agency earlier this year, Detectives Russ Kaufman and Christa Gilland chose to continue his legacy by taking over the event.
As detectives in the Department’s Family Violence Unit, Kaufman and Gilland’s work is directly tied to the welfare of children and families, making them a natural fit to oversee Shop with a Cop. The two worked with KPD’s School Resource Officers, Patrol Officers and other department staff who referred children and families as potential recipients for the event. Each shopping spree was supported through generous donations by members of the Kirkland Police Department, the Kirkland Police Guild, and funds that were carried over from last year.
A total of $3,800 was raised and dedicated to the event. 
“Shop with a Cop is incredibly rewarding for everyone involved, and we are honored to pick up where Corporal Dreher left off,” Kaufman said. “Events like this help us build vital connections with the community we serve every day. We are grateful for the widespread support of this event.”
Built out of a desire to meaningfully connect with the community, Shop with a Cop attracts attention every year due to its visually striking nature. Other shoppers sometimes pause in their tracks as the officers, dressed in full uniform, follow the whims of their new young friends, patiently pushing shopping carts up and down the toy aisles while taking time to bond, engage and help them choose gifts.
This year, some shoppers made impromptu donations on the spot, compelled by the connections clearly being fostered between community members and cops. Those donations will be used to sustain and grow the event in future years and are greatly appreciated. 
This year’s event was particularly meaningful for the volunteers involved, as KPD officers welcomed Wyatt, Tucker and Bowen Gavigan, the three young sons of former KPD mechanic Kenny Gavigan. Gavigan passed away on May 22, 2021 and is sorely missed by his KPD family. His colleagues knew him to be an exceptional human being and an incredibly intuitive mechanic. The garage at KPD has been unofficially named ‘Gavigan’s Garage’ in his honor.
The City would like to thank the Kirkland Fred Meyer for providing a safe space for the event to take place, along with hot coffee and tasty baked treats. Fred Meyer has been a true community partner in its willingness to support Kirkland’s Shop with a Cop.
“Seeing all the officers come over every holiday season to help out the kids and families is really special,” said Fred Meyer Electronics Manager Kevin Parrish. “It means a lot to the store and to the rest of our community.”