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Local kids hit Ross Park Mall for back to school “Shop with a Cop” event

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Sirens were blaring at Ross Park Mall Saturday morning, where there was a heavy police presence.

But it’s not what you think.

It’s back to school time — and for 10 children, a special shopping experience is here at Ross Park Mall as they “Shop with a Cop.”

“I love it. I get giddy. I want to see the kids get something, whatever they want and sometimes they don’t have the opportunity to get that and I tell him just think outside of the box,” Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff Jason Tarap said.

The kids were chosen by local police officers and got the red carpet treatment as they entered Macy’s.

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The department store provided a $250 gift card to the children so they could buy back to school essentials with an officer by their side.

“Well, it’s actually pretty fun. And I and I like to use the cop as my servant, ha ha,” 7-year-old Serenity Buterbaugh said.

“It’s awesome, it’s a wonderful experience. Serenity just moved to the neighborhood and we’re very excited to have her — she’s going to meet lots of friends this year,” Avalon Borough officer Steven Impell said.

Shop with a Cop is a joint effort with the Allegheny County Camp Cadet program.

It’s a way to build relationships between law enforcement and kids, and it’s working.

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“It’s going pretty good. I got some jackets, got some shirts, got a few pants. Yeah I got my buddy cop right here. After this we’re gonna get some doughnuts,” 16-year-old Xavier Johns said.

“It’s been an experience with X(avier) because it’s always a good time. He’s always got something good to say and makes you laugh,” Pittsburgh police officer John Bradford said.

There are two Shop with Cops events next weekend at the Macy’s in South Hills Village and Monroeville.

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