October 26, 2021

Shop with a Cop picks 30 children

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Cortland police Sgt. Tony Natoli, left, and Officer Jesse Abbott look through nominations for “Shop with a Cop” on Friday at Bru 64 on Main Street. The event lets children of families who have faced hardships go shopping for Christmas presents with Cortland police officers in December.

Thirty youngsters will get to shop with a cop this month, more than double the number of children last year.

“Last year was the first year,” said Jesse Abbott, the Cortland City Community Oriented Policing Officer, who puts on the event.

Last year, 12 children went holiday shopping with a police officer, picking out toys and something for a family member.

In a Facebook post, Abbott said 70 applications were submitted for the event at Walmart on Bennie Road in Cortlandville. This year Abbott said his department got a $5,000 grant from Walmart and other donations to make the event happen.

Each child will receive $150 to spend on gifts. The only rule? They have to get a gift for at least one family member.

Abbott said no date has yet been set for the event. The department must make sure there are no conflicts. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 30 children will be broken up into four groups and more than six officers are expected to participate.