Santa for a Day: JJC Police Spread Cheer with Third ‘Shop with a Cop’ Event

Joliet Junior College (JJC) police were equipped with gift cards and good cheer when they escorted seven children through a local Target store to shop for holiday gifts for their third annual Shop with a Cop event.  

Sgt. Tom Glisson and fellow members of the college’s Police and Community Engagement (PACE) team plan the shopping event each year and look forward to making a difference to families within the JJC community.  

“Our PACE team, together with our JJC community, especially our hard-working students, is what we love to do,” said Glisson. “These families were nominated by the JJC community because they are dedicated JJC students who needed some extra help during the holidays. This event also provides our officers an opportunity to give back to the community. They take pride in putting smiles on our community members’ faces.”  

The PACE initiative was created in 2021 as a way for the campus police department to bridge the gap between the police department and the community. PACE is funded through donations received by the Joliet Junior College Foundation.

Other community events held throughout the year include a trunk-or-treat, ice cream socials, guest speakers and meet-and-greet opportunities. These events provide the community an opportunity to build a relationship and interact with officers as individuals and on positive terms. 

Thanks to the generous donations from the community and Joliet Target, officers are able to shop with a $200 budget for each child sponsored. Families are also treated to lunch at a nearby McDonald's while police staff wrap the gifts and return them to the families.  

“This event is held with the spirit of the season in mind,” noted Glisson. “Our officers get to make positive contacts with the community. They help put smiles on the faces of children of the students they serve and protect every day. The parents are especially thrilled to see their children be carefree during a season that can be challenging to manage. Our department is thankful to contribute to our community in that way.”

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