Sheriff’s Office continuing Shop with a Cop
ARENAC COUNTY — One repercussion of the state’s decision to close the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility is a loss off community involvement the prison’s employees provided, but the Arenac County Sheriff’s Office is making sure the prison’s “Shop with a Cop” program rolls on despite the prison’s closure.
In the past, the prison staff worked with the Family Independence Agency to provide about 30 kids in Arenac County with a $100 shopping trip to Pamida in Standish, ensuring the children could buy Christmas presents for their family members/friends. The children were also driven to the store and accompanied on their shopping trip by Correction Officers, as well as other area law enforcement agency personnel.
“The prison had done it for years and I just thought ‘Well, if they can’t do it, we’ll just pick it up and take it upon ourselves,” said Sheriff James Mosciski. “We’ve got an account going now at the county courthouse for Shop with a Cop. … We’ve got some generous donations in already, so I’m pretty happy with how it’s going.”
Despite the donations coming in for the program, Deputy Rachel Vallad said some more donations would be helpful in maintaining and guaranteeing the program’s success.
“We’re about $400 short,” Vallad said, adding that if the office is short, children may receive slightly less than $100 per shopper. “We’re just looking for extra money to make sure the kids get the full $100.”
According to Vallad, the reduced number of personnel who will be available to accompany the young shoppers may also require the FIA and Sheriff’s Office to offer the experience to fewer county kids. However, she said if the money is there, the program would be as similar as possible to the way it was in the past.
Vallad also wrote a grant for Pamida Foundation funds to receive funding for Shop with a Cop.
Winter clothing items – hats, gloves, scarves, etc. – can also be donated for the program.
Shop with a Cop is on Dec. 17 at the Standish Knights of Columbus Hall. For more information, call 989-846-3002, ext. 6870.