Troy kids shop ‘til they drop with a cop

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 16, 2015

 Krista Koka, 8, puts a present wrapped by Gary Parents, a volunteer from the Troy Citizen Patrol Volunteers, into a cart during Shop with a Cop.

Krista Koka, 8, puts a present wrapped by Gary Parents, a volunteer from the Troy Citizen Patrol Volunteers, into a cart during Shop with a Cop.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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Schroeder Elementary School students Anna Swencki, 8, and her sister Emma Swencki, 7, waited with their mother, Theresa, for their turn to Shop with a Cop at the Walmart store on Maple Road Dec. 8.

The sisters said they planned to purchase gifts for their mom, dad and cousins.

Theresa Swencki, a single parent, said she recently moved into the Troy School District and was pleased with the support the family has received from the district.

The Police Department obtained the names of children for Shop with Cop from social workers and principals at schools in the Troy School District.

Troy police officer Janice Pokley said 25 students representing eight out of the 12 schools in Troy participated.

The event is designed to allow disadvantaged children to purchase holiday gifts. Troy police hosted the first Shop with a Cop in conjunction with the Troy Fire Department at Walmart in 2004.

This year, each child got to spend $100, donated by Walmart, on themselves, and their friends and family members. Each child received a box lunch donated by Granite City Food & Brewery restaurant in Troy.

Volunteers from Citizen Patrol Volunteers, civilians who help Troy police patrol streets on their own time, free of charge, wrapped the presents for the children.

“We look forward to it,” said CPV member Conrad Kruzman.

“We have a fabulous police force,” said CPV member and city employee Nancy Chapman. “It’s a feel-good time for us.”

She said she and her husband, Bruce, patrol the streets while they do sign code enforcement for the city.

“It’s all about the kids and making them happy,” said Troy school resource officer Gail Jasak.

She noted that some kids buy things for themselves and some buy things for their families.

“I meet new people every year. It’s awesome,” she said.

Smith Middle School student Cristelo Resendez, 12,  purchased a yellow and green BMX bicycle for himself at the urging of his mother, Tanya Resendez.

“He doesn’t do much for himself,” she said. “I pushed for him to get something for himself, and he did. He hasn’t had a bike since he was 5.”

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