Finding ways to help others in need during the holiday season is something Kentucky State Police Public Information Officer Shane Jacobs looks forward to each year. Kicking off its “Shop with a Trooper” event at the Harlan Walmart on Monday, Jacobs said the state police will be in Knox County today and Bell County on Wednesday.
“We have 22 children who were selected in Harlan County to participate in this event,” Jacobs said. “Each child receives $120 to spend as they please with the exception (that) they must select a new winter coat while they shop.”
Jacobs said this is just one of the ways the Kentucky State Police gives back to the community each year. He said it also offers children a chance to get to know a police officer.
“Sometimes kids see us in a negative way, and this is a way of showing them we are here to help them and keep them safe,” Jacobs said. “To be able to hang out with a police officer for an hour or two is a great opportunity for the kids and the troopers as well. This one-on-one time is so valuable to a child in creating a positive image in their minds, so if there is ever a time they do need us they will feel comfortable coming to us for help.”
Jacobs said as a trooper, this event is one of the highlights of the season.
“When you see their little faces light up, it just means the world to you,” he said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s Christmas time, and the spirit of Christmas is giving to others. This is one of the best events we have, I feel, throughout the year.”
Jacobs said Cawood and Wallins elementary schools were selected this year to participate in the event. He also said two children were selected from Harlan elementary. Each year, Jacobs said two schools in the county will be selected to participate, with teachers suggesting which students. The schools will be rotated so each school will be able to participate in the event.
Harlan Walmart Manager Paul Meister said he “is honored each year” to help with the “Shop with a Trooper” event.
“We try to support our Kentucky State Police in any way we can,” Meister said. “This is a wonderful thing they do for our community every year.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com.