Shop With a Cop Stops in Richland for a Morning of Holiday Fun - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Shop With a Cop Stops in Richland for a Morning of Holiday Fun

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Needless to say, this event left everyone jumping for joy. Needless to say, this event left everyone jumping for joy.

RICHLAND, WA- If you noticed a heavy police presence at the Richland Walmart on Saturday, it is nothing to fear. In fact, they were there to help make this holiday season a little brighter for some children in our community.

Law enforcement from all over the Tri-Cities came together at the store for their annual Shop with a Cop event. 

"(It's to) give them an experience they will never forget because a few years down the road, when their making decisions, I am hoping their decisions will be positive for their life. Rather than negative, because of this interaction," explained Officer Rick Kane.

Children who are in need are given a $100 gift card, and they get to go shopping with an officer. For Yaretzi Alvarez, after a quick breakfast and some waiting in line, she was paired up with two officers. 

First stop, straight to the toy section. Yaretzi told us she's shopping for her 18-month-old little brother, who likes anything noisy. A toy cell phone, a piano, a stuffed animal police officer and some blocks. Later, she made her way to the doll aisle, but something tells us this stop was for her.

After checking out, there was one last person to see, Santa Claus. Shop with a Cop volunteers even wrapped all her presents before Yaretzi and her mom headed home. But, before parting ways, she gave the officers a special thank you note written with the help of her mother. 

After talking with Richland Police Officer Michelle Goenen, while she was there to make the day brighter for Yaretzi and her family, Goenen says this event helps remind her what is truly important this holiday season. "(It) makes me feel amazing because these kids sometimes only get to see us when they're in a crisis situation. So just getting to see them smile and so excited about the holiday season, brings light to my day. It makes me realize why I became a police officer in the first place," said Officer Goenen.

Needless to say, this event left everyone jumping for joy.

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