KSP Shop with a Trooper hits Harlan

Published 11:27 am Thursday, December 15, 2022

Kentucky State Police Post 10, Harlan, held their annual Shop with a Trooper event at Walmart in Harlan last Thursday, bringing kids from three area elementary schools in to visit with the troopers and shop for some Christmas gifts.

Kentucky State Police Public Information Officer Shane Jacobs talked about the annual event just before the shopping spree began.

“We have 18 kids from Green Hills, Cawood, and Wallins Elementary,” Jacobs said. “We have nine boys and nine girls here today.”

He said each child could spend approximately $130 on merchandise.

“We make sure they get their clothing first before we hit the toys,” Jacobs said. “Once we get that done, we will take all the kids over to Pizza Hut with the troopers.”

The children had another surprise waiting on them after they finished their pizza.

“After that, once the shopping and everything is over with, they’ll walk out of Pizza Hut, and that’s where they’ll all receive a brand-new bicycle,” Jacobs said. “Every kid gets a free bicycle, merchandise, and food. It’s about $200 per kid.”

Jacobs explained the money is raised throughout the year to pay for the event.

“We have different types of community outreach to raise the money for this,” Jacobs said. “We do Harlan, Bell, and Knox Counties. Today is our last day of our event, we’ve already held Knox and Bell County, today is Harlan.”

KSP Captain Danny Caudill, the Captain of KSP Post 10, Harlan, was among the troopers on hand for the event.

“It’s one of the outreach things we do to give back to the community,” Caudill said. “Our Public Affairs Officer Shane Jacobs does a really good job; he works all year long to raise money to allow us to do this. We cover Harlan, Bell, and Knox counties, and the funds he’s able to raise allows us to shop for approximately 60 kids in those three counties who may not otherwise have a Christmas.”

Caudill explained the event has a positive impact on the children in multiple ways.

“It allows the kids the opportunity to interact with us in a positive way,” Caudill said. “For a lot of kids, their only interaction with the police may be through negative contacts, and that can cause them to be afraid of the police. But this is one way we can have a positive interaction with them, and we feel like it positively impacts their lives.”

Jacobs expressed appreciation for the community’s assistance in making the event possible.

“We want to thank our community leaders for pitching in, donating, and supporting these kids,” Jacobs said. “Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”