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'Shop with a Cop' event creates community connection between teens, Calgary police


Some Calgary teens had a special shopping partner at Marlborough Mall on Wednesday morning; a uniformed Calgary Police Service officer.

Officers were paired with a deserving teen for the 16th annual "Shop with a Cop" event.

"Being able to shop for myself feels really good, but at the same time really weird since I never really shop for myself," said Hilliary Sandoval, a Grade 9 student.

Each teen was given a $100 gift card to the shopping centre as well as a gift bag with goodies, and was treated to lunch in the food court.

The program selected 27 teens to take part as recognition and reward for their academic achievements or community service.

"(This experience is) definitely nice because academically I put a lot of hard work into my studies. Knowing this is a reward for all of that seems pretty nice," said Ruby Imran, also in Grade 9.

Other Grade 9 students agree.

"It feels like my effort is paid off," said Mudjaina Boisevert.

Most of the police participating work in District 4, covering the schools the students attend, yet some officers from other districts volunteered to join the event.

"We do enjoy as police officers coming out and being a part of it," said Const. Chris Langham.

Langham says District 4 officers learned more about the young people in the communities they patrol, while some of the teens say they saw a new side to police officers.

"(They're) joyful, and funny. I thought they were strict, or scary," said Kuot Magiir.

Officials say the program is meant to foster positive relationships between young people and the Calgary Police Service.

"When we talk about community policing, this is what this is. We have police officers that patrol this community that are now getting to talk to students and spend time with students," said Supt. Cliff O'Brien. Top Stories

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