Bolingbrook's Annual Shop With A Cop Returns Amid Pandemic

Abhinanda Datta

BOLINGBROOK, IL — A beloved Bolingbrook event returned this year amid the pandemic. On Dec. 15, the Bolingbrook Police Department teamed up with Meijer for its 22nd annual Shop with a Cop event at the Bolingbrook Town Center.

Approximately 100 local students were treated to gift bags, a $60 gift card from Meijer and an
additional gift from Santa Claus. Participants were also able to enjoy hot chocolate and view the Winter Walk, which is a path of holiday lights and decorations located behind the Town Center. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year the event was by prior appointment only.

Courtesy of the Bolingbrook Police Department
Courtesy of the Bolingbrook Police Department

"I have coordinated the Shop with a Cop event since the inception and was proud to lead our employees in this effort to make the holiday season brighter for all," said Chief Mike Rompa. "This year was a challenge due to social distancing restrictions. Historically it is hosted at the store and our personnel take each participant shopping. Although drastically different, the event was an amazing success as it was hosted outdoors and separated by appointments."

The annual event enhances positive relationships between members of the police department, the selected Bolingbrook children and their families. The program has grown each year and the positive interaction is incredible, Rompa said.

"It gives our officers an opportunity to enhance communication and build a rapport with area students and their families. Everyone involved looks forward to this each holiday season, and it truly brings Bolingbrook together. This year was more important than ever to both our personnel and the children," he said.

This article originally appeared on the Bolingbrook Patch