‘Shop with a Cop’ brings deputies, kids together for Christmas shopping

Special to The Post South

A pandemic, hurricanes and the day-to-day challenges of their work made 2021 a tough year for sheriff’s deputies in Iberville Parish, but it did not put the brakes on one of their longtime traditions.

Iberville Parish Sheriff's deputies paired up with 55 children to shop for Christmas.

Deputies took 55 children to Walmart Supercenter in Plaquemine on Dec. 8 to help make Christmas a bit brighter for the youngsters.

As part of the outreach to kids, businesses and individuals donated money for kids to enjoy gifts during the Yuletide season.

“We had more people contribute this year, so we were able to buy more for the kids,” Stassi said. “Even when everything looks so bad and bleak, the people of Iberville Parish have always stepped forth to help the need.”

“Without our donors, there would be no Shop with a Cop,” he said.

Thanks to donors in the community, each child received $250 to shop with a deputy.

The shopping trip allowed the public to see that law enforcement officers do more than make arrests.

Instead, they get to see them as model citizens, Stassi said.

“They get to interact with kids in a way different than whenever the deputy drives up to a house,” he said. “People don’t call deputies because someone’s having a party – they call about what happened at the party.

“Our 'Shop with a Cop' project gives deputies an opportunity to interact with young kids and let them know we’re not the enemy, and that we are the friend. It shows that we can be of help.”

Children were each assigned to a deputy, who walked them down the aisles to spend their $250.

“And right at the end when they see they’ve gone over the $250 and see the deputy pay for the overage, it really shows that the deputies aren’t only buying in – they’re giving back,” Stassi said.

The donors included Michael and Mary Johnson, Pile Driving Contractors Associates, Inc., IPSO Employee Contributions, Boardwalk, Shintech, SNF Flopam, Jimmy Moore, M&P Barge Co., Inc., Bayou Road Lumber & Hardware Co. LLC, Pendley Baudin & Coffin, LLC, P.J. D’Albor Furniture Co. LLC, Edward J. Gay Planting & Mfg. Co LLC, Comeaux Brothers Construction, St. Louis Planting, Inc., Peacock Communications, F. Barry Marionneaux, Tess and Amy Patin, Chad Brown, Iberville Glass, Inc., Popingo’s Convenience Stores, LLC, Plaquemine Council No. 970 Knights of Columbus, Viallon Drug Co., Inc., Doug Conerly, We Are the Difference, The Committee to Elect Elizabeth Engolio, Daniel Durand Agency, Alfred “Bo” Smith, Mary K. D’Albor and Connie Comeaux.