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Kids 'Shop with a Cop' in Beaverton

Beaverton Police Department program helps outfit disadvantaged students for school year

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Lisa Ishmwe,13, middle, smiles after picking a pair of jeans she would like to try on during a Shop with a Cop event with Beaverton Police Department Officer Jeff Gill and her family friend, Jina, at Fred Meyer in Beaverton. Tuesday was Ishmwe's second day in America.Officer Jared Lutu is usually partnered up with a K-9, but even while shopping at the Beaverton Town Square Fred Meyer with 14-year-old Max, there was a little bit of friendly barking.

“You guys like this ugly stuff, right?” Lutu said with a wide smile, tugging on a shirt with a pocket that doesn’t match the rest of the fabric.

“It’s called swag,” retorted Max, an incoming Beaverton High School freshman looking for something that will go with his strategically ripped and faded jeans.

Lutu and Max were partners for the morning on Tuesday, during the Beaverton Police Department's second Shop with a Cop event, which gives disadvantaged kids a chance to pick out new clothes and shoes before heading back to school in a month.

“It’s hard nowadays,” Lutu said. “You don’t have a lot of positive interaction with the public, and this is a good way to do that.”

"This is a lot of fun," said Matt Cline, a school resource officer who this summer has spent time with Beaverton Police Activities League (PAL) members such as 11-year-old Julian, who shopped with Cline to get ready for middle school.TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Beaverton Police Department Officer Ryan Potter leads Luke, 8, to find another back to school item during a Shop with a Cop event at Beavertons Fred Meyer.

This year, 19 kids were selected by local partner agencies to shop with Beaverton officers. Each had $100 to $150 to spend, depending on grade level. Participating officers often pull out their own wallets to buy a bit more for their young partners.

Two of the kids shopping this year were 8-year-old siblings Luke and Leia, and young master Luke selected a “Star Wars” T-shirt befitting his namesake movie franchise but also scored a super-hero themed pair of Skechers shoes with help from Officer Ryan Potter.

“My favorite color is green,” Luke explained.

“I’ve got grade school-aged kids,” said Sgt. Alan Juilfs, who was shopping with Leia. “It’s a fun opportunity to help these guys get ready for school.”

All of the children were referred by two local family shelters, the Beaverton School District’s homeless program and the city-sponsored PAL.

Beaverton’s Shop with a Cop has nearly doubled in size since 11 kids shopped with officers last summer in its inaugural year, and Community Services Specialist Consuelo Star said she would like to double it again next year because there is plenty of need.

“That’s the hardest part,” she said. “It’s a matter of raising the funds.”

City employees contributed $2,000 to the program this year through fundraisers and direct donations, Star said.

Fred Meyer hosted the event and provided backpacks filled with toiletry items, and also offered discounts to stretch donations further. Nothing Bundt Cakes, a nearby bakery, donated treats.

Lisa, a young teen, had arrived in a day earlier from Rwanda, where her mother is going to college.

She admitted to being a “little bit scared” about shopping with a police officer, something she couldn’t imagine doing in her home country. But the incoming Beaverton High School student was quickly put at ease by Officer Jeff Gill, who is an alum of the school.

“It’s amazing,” she said after choosing several pairs of pants and other clothing items. “I was excited.”

Star, the coordinator, said that anyone who wants to help the program grow can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..