History of Shop With a Cop - Dundee Township
The Shop With A Cop program started in 2004 when Louis Kloepper, then an officer with East Dundee Police Department, raised some money and donated his own to take 15 kids out to breakfast and then on a shopping trip.
“The first 15 kids, half of them were foster kids,” said Kloepper, who is now retired. “We were the ones who took them away from their families so they were kind of scared of us.”
This program was designed to benefit underprivileged children and to allow children to have a positive interaction with a police officer. Our goal is to give children a happier holiday experience while interacting with a police officer in a positive setting to show that the police are there to help. It has grown to also include children who have been diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer.
At our annual event held in early December “Shop with a Cop” provides a joyful holiday for underprivileged children who, without this event, may not experience one. The participating children are identified by schools, churches and social services agencies throughout the Dundee Township area. This event is not only a shopping event for the kids, but also a chance for the kids to have a positive role model in their life, if they don’t have one already.
Today, the program carries on, but it could not do so without the support of local police agencies, businesses, and community members.
Check out this article from the Daily Herald written by local journalist, Lenore T. Adkins, in 2011.