By Clara Glendale-Frolic-Glendale|Sick of this Beat
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the shops, think again. It isn’t. At least it isn’t if you find men in uniforms wearing guns on their hips and pushing carts while future criminals tag along behind looking for items to boost uncomfortable to your psyche.
If you don’t, then Shop with a Cop 2017 is for you. The big day happens this Saturday, Dec. 23, a week later than originally planned due to a breakdown at the lockup, according to someone currently under witness protection.
The annual holiday event links members of Bass Lake Authority Police with local kids whose families, for one reason or another, can’t afford to pile gifts under their trees.
Nearly 11 local children and up to three police officers will participate in the program.
For kids like eight-year-old Jerry (not his real name) Johnson (also not his real name), Christmas is stressful because of his parent’s extreme financial troubles. Jerry’s father is currently serving a three-year sentence for unlawful use of a turn signal while evading police and his mother is working four jobs just to keep the lights on.
“I just want a new Xbox,” young Jerry said. “My old one got stolen by my brother when he moved out to live with his girlfriend and her cousin out near that old house on the highway.”
Jerry is paired with BLAP chief Gwen “Tug” McNabb, who is in his second year with the program.
“He’s a rotten kid,” McNabb said. “Ungrateful. Drives me nuts.”
McNabb was not talking about Jerry, however. Instead “Uncle Tug,” as he is known in some circles, was describing his own child, whom he cannot find.
“He’s always hiding from me,” Mcnabb said. “Thinks it’s funny. But he won’t be laughing when I buy Kenny, er, Jerry that new Xbox, will he? How do you spell ‘Xbox’ anyway?”