SRPD Reports

SRPD Officers and Community Children Enjoy Ninth Annual “Shop with a Cop”


By Tasha Silverhorn

Au-Authm Action News

Twenty-two children from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and 22 volunteer Salt River Police Department (SRPD) officers took part in the ninth annual Shop with a Cop event on Saturday, December 17. The children and officers arose early and traveled with a lighted police escort to a local Scottsdale Wal-Mart for breakfast and a morning of shopping.

Each child could spend $150, using half of it for clothing and the other half for toys for themselves or gifts for family members. “Basically, they decide if they want to buy gifts for themselves, family [members] or a friend,” explained SRPD Detective Vicente Cendejas, who worked to coordinate this year’s event.
Shop with a Cop is sponsored each year by the Police Officers of Scottsdale Association (POSA).

“This year is one of our smallest groups. Last year we had about 40 children who were able to participate,” said SRPD Detective Tyesha Wood. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get as much money as we did last year. Typically we’re given an amount through POSA, and this year we were advised it would be $150 per child. The amount has slowly dwindled down; it used to be $200.”

This year, working with Social Services and Child Protective Services, the SRPD selected children that are wards of the court to participate. Two children from the Community schools also were referred to the program by the School Resource Officers.

The funding for Shop with a Cop is generously donated by Scottsdale, Salt River, Tempe and Phoenix-area residents and businesses. The food for the breakfast is donated; Salt River contributes funding through Casino Arizona, the Children’s Foundation and a small donation from the Salt River Law Enforcement Association. The event is also sponsored by Toyota, and Wal-Mart donated money and a lot of supplies.

If you would like to make a donation in person, the POSA office is located in Old Town Scottsdale at 7229 E. First Ave., Suite 203/204.

Participating SRPD Staff
Detective Vicente Cendejas
Corporal Kelly Bergin
Officer Daniel Brown
Officer Dhanielle DeClay
Officer Seth Graham
Officer Dariusz Gruna
Sergeant Matt Hedrick
Officer Gabriel Hernandez
Detective Anthony Hogan
Detective Walter Holloway
Corporal Maurice Hurd
Detective Mark Lamb
Detective Andrea Lewis
Crime Scene Specialist Rachelle Marquez
Chief Patrick Melvin
Detective Treva Olivas
Officer Jose Quintero, Jr.
Officer Ronald Roanhorse
Lieutenant James Sutphen
Officer Jose Tavena
Officer Wesley Todd
Detective John Wyant

“This was my first year participating in the event. It was one of the most joyful events I’ve experienced as a police officer. I was paired with a 7-year-old girl who was one of the most beautiful, polite little girls I ever met. I pushed on the cart while she pointed out what she wanted. She got Barbie dolls and electric guitars.”
—Detective Vicente Cendejas

“The Shop with a Cop event was a great experience and it was nice to see how many SRPD officers showed up. I was able to talk one-on-one with the kids and related to several children going through tough times. The kids looked like they had an excellent time and it felt good to be part of the help. Detective Wood and Detective Cendejas did a good job at coordinating the event. I look forward to participating again next year and seeing more SRPD officers participating.”
—Officer Jose Quintero, Jr.

“This was my first year volunteering for Shop with a Cop and I absolutely loved it. I loved testing out the toys to make sure they were fun. The special person I took shopping miraculously sat beside me at church the next morning; she suggested we buy walkie-talkies so we wouldn’t lose touch. Events like this one make me love being a cop.”
—Officer Dhanielle DeClay

“Shop with a Cop was great. This time was my first year participating in the event. My child was fun, energetic, and extremely happy about the opportunity to get gifts for herself and her family members. I will definitely participate in Shop with a Cop every year.”
—Detective Walter Holloway

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