FAMU PD Prepares for ‘Shop with a Cop’ initiative

Officer Jessie Small

Police Officers at Florida A&M University are preparing to spread the spirit of giving with “Shop with a Cop” initiatve.

Many children will get to experience the true meaning of Christmas on Monday thanks to officer Jessie Small.

He is gearing up to host his second annual “Shop with a Cop” initiative, which focuses on giving back to families who are less fortunate.

This effort serves as a bridge between local police and the Tallahassee community.  Small started this cause as a way to give back to the children.

He was motivated to start “Shop with a Cop” by being able to relate with childhood experiences of being less fortunate.  

“I’ve been where some of these kids have been,” Small said. “I know watching my mom struggle sometimes while we were growing up, the smallest things mean a great deal.”

He continued, “It’s nice to look back and say hey, I made it, but it’s even better to reach back and pick someone up and lend a helping hand.”

He said that his grandmother was a strong influence for him.

“I promised my grandmother no matter where I’m at, I will remain the same,” Small stated.

32-year-old Lazzare Saint Paul, a father of two, expressed his appreciation for Officer Small’s effort in the community.

“I think this is wonderful and a lot of people don’t think to do stuff like this for the kids.” Saint Paul said.

He also mentioned that the children can learn a valuable lesson from this event.

“This gives the kids a sense of humility. Shows them that they don’t have to steal in order to get what they want, you can always work hard for it.”

Recent FAMU fall 2015 criminal justice graduate Simone Marie Stallworth, said “Shop with a Cop is a great way to give back to the community. It allows children to receive gifts for Christmas that they wouldn’t have received otherwise. It also sheds light on the good cops that are still out there.”

It is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Walmart located at 3535 Applachee Parkway in Tallahassee.