'Shop with a Cop' brings Christmas to Buffalo youngsters
It was Code Three for 17 young Buffalo residents Sunday evening. They arrived for their Christmas shopping at the Walmart on In Cheektowaga with lights and sirens.
It was "Shop with a Cop" Sunday. A Buffalo cop and a young person were paired, with a chance to spend $120 on holiday gifts for themselves and their families.
For Patricia, it meant choices.
"I'm not really quite sure," she said. "I'm just going through the aisles, seeing what I'd like, what I'd want."
They arrived with lights and sirens and excitement. They were spending dollars donated by police oficers, the Erie County District Attorney's Office and Walmart.
Police Officer Michael Norwood from the Housing Unit played college basketball at Coppin State University and then in Finland. Norwood said his guest really liked sports.
"This young man right here, we've been talking about sports for the last hour-and-a-half and, surprisingly, he actually knows a lot about the NFL, the NBA and stuff," Norwood said. "Me being a former athlete, we've just been having a blast with each other."
Mayor Byron Brown and Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood were there. Mayor Brown said it is really good for the kids because after the holidays, when they go back to school, they can also talk with the other kids about what they received for Christmas - something they might not have been able to do before this event.
"It really does feel good for them to be able to say what they got for Christmas, to not be left out," Brown said. "Our focus is building a city of opportunity, where no one is left out, no one is left behind and the Buffalo Police Department is doing a great job in building the relationship with the community."
Lockwood said many of the officers were from the Engagement Team and their guests were kids they met last summer when working in the neighborhoods.