The area’s fifth annual “Shop With a Cop” event on Tuesday was the biggest yet, serving more than 30 children and involving dozens of law enforcement personnel and volunteers.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Dodson, the event’s organizer, said they had about 33 Libby and Troy school children, more than 20 law enforcement personnel and “many more volunteers” participate.
In “Shop With a Cop,” law enforcement personnel treat children to lunch and then take them on a shopping spree. All local agencies were represented — Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Libby and Troy police departments, Montana Highway Patrol and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game wardens.
Thanks to community donations, the kids could buy gifts for family members and themselves.
“I think we raised over $10,000 and might have spent it all,” Dodson said.
The day began at noon with lunch at McDonald’s in Libby, where everyone posed for the traditional group photo before dispersing to shop at Libby businesses including Ace Hardware, Shopko and Libby Sports Center.
Starting about 2 p.m., cops and kids started assembling at Asa Wood School, where volunteers wrapped gifts and kids could eat hamburgers and play in bounce houses set up in the gym.
Dodson was grateful for all the support and well wishes from the community, of which he “couldn’t be more proud.”
“It’s one of the best things I do as a cop,” he said. “The kids are awesome and I hope they enjoy themselves and get positive reinforcements from it.”