Twenty Local Kids ‘Shop With A Cop’ for School Essentials Friday, Courtesy of Pasadena Rotary

Published : Saturday, August 17, 2019 | 5:46 AM

They came. They shopped. They dropped… $100 each at Target.

For the fifth time in as many years, Pasadena Rotary Club’s “Shop with a Cop” day boosted the retailer’s bottom line and both the spirits and prospects of 20 students.

And the youngsters made a new pal in a police officer.

“So it’s exciting to interact with the community, but more importantly for the kids to see that there’s more than just a uniform on, we have hearts in them,” Commander Art Chute said. “We want to be their partners as well.”

The kids, good students who can’t afford all the school supplies they need, were chosen by the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena.

The tween and teen scholars then submitted a list to the Rotary Club, which, in turn, gives them the previously mentioned $100 Target card gift.

Middle schoolers are the target demographic of Shop with a Cop, because earlier grade children are less likely to remember the experience, and high schoolers are less likely to connect with a with so obvious and authority figure as a policeman (or anyone else for that matter).

J.P. Harris, of the Rotary Club’s Shop with a Cop committee, explained that word of the event is circulated throughout the Pasadena Police Department and individual officers volunteer to show up, “on motorcycle, police cruiser, whatever they ride in.”

There, they are paired up with children from two branches of the Pasadena Boys and Girls Club, which takes care of transporting its own pack of bookpackers.

“One cop told me ‘I can’t always be there for my kid at ballgames and back to school and this is one way to be with someone else’s child when I can’t be with mine,’” explained Harris, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Target has always been a gracious host, beefing up the cashier lines so things go a little better, according to Harris.

The Pasadena Rotary is the oldest and most active service club in the Pasadena community, with over 200 members and 35 committees. It meets weekly. For more about what the club does for our city, click here.

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