City Times Staff
“Where are the Bratz dolls?” Asked Stevens Point Police Chief Tom Zenner, frowning at the toys before him. “We need a Bratz doll here.”
Zenner was one of 19 law enforcement officers from Stevens Point, Plover and the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office to spend their day off on Dec. 19 volunteering for the sixth annual Shop With a Cop.
The idea was devised by Plover Police Officer Seth Pionke and has grown a little each year.
“All the money for this is donated,” Pionke said. “We have people come in throughout the year and tell us they want to donate money for something to benefit the community, and this is one of the programs we came up with.”
This year, Pionke said donations were taken from some anonymous residents, but also the Okray Foundation, Dunkin’ Donuts, St. Michael’s Foundation and Walmart. Pizza Hut in Plover provided lunch for the kids and the officers.
Less fortunate children from the area are given a set dollar amount and assigned an officer to help them chose Christmas presents for their immediate family members.
“Sometimes it’s nice to be able to tell these kids to not worry about how much something costs,” Pionke said.
After shopping was complete, the kids and officers wrapped their presents at Plover Village Hall, with help from the officers’ families, the Junior Women’s Club and the Plover Whiting Elementary School PTO.