Pleasanton residents looking for a new way to give back during the holiday season can take part in supporting the first-ever "Shop with a Cop" event on Dec. 18.
Hosted by the Pleasanton Police Officers Association, and in partnership with the Pleasanton Police Department and Pleasanton Unified School District, the inaugural event's purpose "is to create and build upon the positive relationships with law enforcement and the community."
Officer Ryan Tujague told the Weekly that after noticing many other police departments doing similar events, he reached out to Livermore police for more advice on how PPD could get their own going.
"I thought here's an opportunity," said Tujague, who serves as vice president of the police union. "I know people think Pleasanton's full of money; that doesn't mean it doesn't have people in need."
"COVID has rocked people's lives. Everyone's affected, but the ones it really traumatizes are the children," Tujague added.
Twenty selected PUSD students -- two from each elementary school and one pair that are enrolled in remote learning -- will start the day going for hot chocolate at Starbucks with PPD personnel. Afterward, they will go on a shopping spree with PPD uniformed officers and community service officers, using a predetermined amount of money to select items they want from the store. Then, the group will have brunch downtown at Vic's All Star Kitchen on Main Street
Tujague said the department is "trying to make this a movement involving everybody," so all levels and different positions of PPD personnel including community officers, animal control and records clerks will be part of the event, as well as their K-9 unit that's scheduled to make a special appearance.
"As a police department, it's not just about police officers," Tujague added. "I want kids to see it's not just about cops, it's about everybody coming together."
The one-day event is also supported by other businesses including Walmart, Starbucks and Grocery Outlet.
To make a donation for the Shop with a Cop event, visit https://www.gofundme.com/pleasanton-police-officers-assoc-shop-with-a-cop.