Shop with a Cop set for December 19, 2015 – Donations being accepted

SARASOTA, Fla. – December 11, 2015 – 9:30 a.m.

The Sarasota Housing Authority, Sarasota Police Department and Target are partnering for the fourth year to provide 100 underprivileged youths with a unique holiday experience in Sarasota.

Shop with a Cop will pair children with Sarasota Police officers to shop for holiday gifts at Target, 5350 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, prior to the store opening for the day on Saturday, December 19, 2015 from 6 a.m. until 8 a.m. **Media is invited to attend**

The 4th Annual Shop with a Cop is an initiative designed to help build mutual trust and respect between law enforcement and children of families living in Sarasota Housing Authority communities. The Sarasota Housing Authority, through donations received from the community, provides Target gift cards to officers for each child.

"This is what the holiday spirit is all about," said Chief Bernadette DiPino, Sarasota Police Department. "We want to help children in our community build relationships with our officers. Shop with a Cop is a chance to help form relationships and educate our local families about the role that our officers play in our community," said Chief DiPino.

"Having a safe and strong community begins with having mutual trust and respect between community members and the men and women sworn to protect them," said Sarasota Housing Authority CEO William Russell. "Shop with a Cop works to build trust and respect through a fun and positive experience," said Russell.

Those wishing to donate can do so through the Sarasota Housing Authority’s 501(c)3 affiliate, Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation (SHFC). Checks can be made payable to Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation with ‘Shop with a Cop’ in the memo line. Credit card donations can be made online at

For additional information contact the Sarasota Housing Authority (Andrea Keddell at 941-361-6210 x 221 or Ken Waters at 941-361-6210 x 261). 100% of donations will be spent on Target gift cards for the children.

2014 Shop with a Cop Event Video