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OUPD participates in Shop With A Hero program

Nowshin Chowdhury

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OUPD participated as heroes for the second year at the annual Shop With A Hero program.

Nowshin Chowdhury
OUPD participated as heroes for the second year at the annual Shop With A Hero program.

With the holidays just around the corner, Oakland University Police Department partnered with Lake Orion Police Department to become heroes to local kids in need. On Wednesday, Dec. 16, OUPD, LOPD, Romeo Police Department, FBI, U.S. Army 1775th and 1776th Military Police Units, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Border Patrol participated in the Shop With A Hero Program at the Target in Auburn Hills.

The heroes were paired with specific children, had pizza together and took the kids shopping for toys and accessories around Target. Each child was given up to $100 to spend. There were approximately 75 kids and 55 heroes.

This was the second year OUPD has been a part of the program. The Shop With A Hero program started in Lake Orion nine years ago with LOPD. OUPD officers Reed Brown and Larry Dugan were former LOPD officers who participated in the program before and mentioned their experience to OUPD, getting the rest of the department involved.

Lieutenant Nicole Thompson and Officers Mike Beale and Reed Brown attended the event. This was Thompson’s first year participating in the program.

“It was such an amazing experience and I was honored to be able to be a part of it and give back to these kids. It is also beneficial for these kids to be able to interact with police officers in a positive way. This allows them to see that not everything negative that they see on TV about police officers is true,” Thompson said.

Some of the items purchased included Minecraft items, books, clothes and shoes.

“The child I was paired with taught me all about Minecraft. He is such a great kid and was so thoughtful and appreciative and purchased items for his family as well,” Thompson said.

Officer Beale purchased a tablet, pillow, soccer ball and a 12-pack of Coke with the child with whom he was paired.

Officer Brown participated last year and spent time with Blake, who got to shop with him again this year. The two purchased superhero masks, costumes and movies for this year’s holiday.

“It was extremely special that I got to shop with the same kid from last year. Blake was so excited for this event that he wore a police costume all day,” Brown said.

For more information on the program or to nominate a local family or child in need, contact LOPD at [email protected] Donations are payable to LOPD at Lake Orion Police Department, 21 E. Church St., Lake Orion, MI 48362.

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