On December 14, 2022, the Burbank Police Department teamed up with the Burbank Empire Center Walmart and the Burbank Housing Corporation to help local youth in need purchase holiday gifts for their friends and family members.
“Shop with a Cop” is an annual program that was first launched in 1990 and is a way for the Burbank Police Department to participate in this philanthropic holiday shopping event while helping those who are less fortunate. This year 30 children were selected by the Burbank Housing Corporation to take part in the event and were selected based on their family’s financial income and needs.
Each child was presented with a $150 Walmart gift card that was sponsored by Walmart, the Burbank Police Officers’ Association (BPOA), the Burbank Police Foundation (BPF), and the Kiwanis Club of Burbank (Kiwanis). Police officers, cadets, explorers, and chaplains accompanied the children through the store to help them shop for holiday gifts for their loved ones. The officers kept track of the cost and helped guide them around the store to find the items they had on their shopping lists.
You could feel the love and compassion that the officers shared with the kids as they helped them add items to their cart and browse the toy, makeup, clothing, and candy aisles of Walmart. Holiday Gift bags containing treats and goodies were presented to each child after checking out, courtesy of Walmart. On top of the shopping event, Tequilas Cantina & Grill also donated a gift certificate good for two family holiday dinners at the restaurant that was given to each child.
“The goal of the event is to provide less fortunate children with a friendly holiday experience they won’t soon forget while building stronger community partnerships with law enforcement,” said Sergeant Brent Fekety, in the official news release put out by the Burbank Police Department. Police Chief Michael Albanese came out to attend the event along with the rest of the Burbank Police command staff including Captains: Denis Cremins, Adam Cornils, Travis Irving, JJ Puglisi, and Police Administrator Courtney Padgett.
Overall, it was a heart-warming event that brought smiles to everyone’s face, including Walmart staff and customers that were at the store Wednesday evening.