Mayflower officers are still accepting donations through Friday as they gear up to take four students Christmas shopping on Saturday.
This year marks the inaugural tradition at Mayflower Police Department in its induction of Shop With A Cop.
Mayflower’s School Resource Officer Dalton Elliott said the department jumped on the No Shave November bandwagon for the first time this year but decided to keep the funds raised local, noting officers wanted to better their community outreach and provide Christmas to children who otherwise may not receive any gifts this year.
"The whole intention is to let the kids know we’re here for them," he said. "A lot of the time we get the image that [police] only come during the bad times. We want these kids to know they can always come to us. We want them to feel comfortable around us. We’re here for them."
Two male and two female Mayflower students will have the opportunity to ride with officers to Walmart in Conway to pick out clothes and other toys Saturday afternoon.
Police Chief Robert Alcon said each of Mayflower’s officers participated in raising funds and encourages anyone who would like to donate to the cause to stop by the police department on Ashmore Drive.
Elliot said the program is a great way for officers to give back to children in the community.
"It’s about putting the kids first," he said. "It’s a good tool to have and it’s a way to give back to the community and the kids out in our community."
Officer Nathen Dulap said the introduction of Shop With A Cop at MPD was important to each officer.
"We wanted to find a way we could give back locally," he said. "This will help us give back to our children."
Mayflower has been hit by a high number of structure fires over the past few weeks.
Chief Alcon said several of the school’s children have been affected by these fires.
"The need here is great," he said. "There’s a lot of children here that aren’t going to have much of a Christmas. We’d like to try to help the kid’s that aren’t going to have anything. Several families were affected from the fire at Queens Manor and there have been several other structure fires that affected children in the community."
Cash donations for this year’s Shop With A Cop fund can be dropped off at the Mayflower Police Department at 2 Ashmore Dr. through Friday. The police department is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, call the police department at 501-470-1000.
Elliott said anyone who wishes to donate after Saturday is welcomed to do so, noting the funds will be put set aside for next year’s program.