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Shop with a Cop unites children and officers
Shop with a Cop
Sixteen members of McMinnville Police Department and two Tennessee Highway Patrolmen participated in Shop with a Cop. Pictured front row, from left, are Lt. Billy Prater, patrolman Alex Ramirez, patrolman Joey Butler, Det. Sgt. Eddie Colwell, Police Chief Nichole Mosley, master patrol officer Andy Aguliar, patrolman Jay Hutchings and patrolman Maggi Fann. Second row, trooper Andrew Coppinger, Sgt. Matt Stubblefield, patrolman Duane Stewart, Sgt. Brian Holt, Sgt. Brad Hall, Lt. Bobby Anderson, patrolman Brent Hickerson and patrolman Chris McCormick.

There was a field of blue Saturday morning at Walmart, as Shop with a Cop made its first appearance in Warren County. 

Fourteen members of McMinnville Police Department, among them Chief Nichole Mosley, and two Tennessee Highway Patrolmen converged on Walmart in the morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 11. They were there to offer 30 children what would likely be their first chance to shop with a member of law enforcement, a program called Shop with a Cop.

“I feel like it was a huge success,” said Detra Whiles, founder of My Father’s Closet. “The children loved being able to pick the officer who would shop with them. Some of the children even made special items for their officers. Every child who came through that line told me, ‘Thank you.’ 

Whiles said she accepted those words of appreciation for McMinnville Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and everyone who made a financial donation to make this event possible.

My Father’s Closet is a nonprofit that works to assist children separated from their immediate families and placed in foster or kinship families. Thirty of those youngsters, ages 5 to 11, were selected to participate in the shopping experience.

Thanks to generous donations, each child was allowed to spend approximately $125 on whatever they wished to purchase. No restrictions were placed.

“Some children had all toys and shoes, but some had candy and chocolate milk,” said Whiles. “It was just whatever they wanted. Some wanted baby dolls, chocolate milk and Skittles.”

Mosley says the event was enjoyable for the men and women in blue.

“They enjoyed the interaction with the children and their smiling faces,” said Mosley. “One child was very reluctant to interact in the beginning but once he got to look at the lights in the patrol car, he warmed up and really engaged. This is a very heartwarming event among all the bad in the world.”

Spent was $3,750. That amount did not include the $25 gift cards donated to be given to children who applied to Shop with a Cop, but did not meet the age requirement.