DUNSTABLE – Dunstable Police Chief James G. Downes III and Groton Police Chief Donald Palma Jr. announce that the Dunstable and Groton Police Departments, in conjunction with Target, launched the first “Shop With A Cop” event for elementary school students this month.
On Dec. 10, members of the Dunstable and Groton Police Departments and the Groton-Dunstable School District, partnered with Target and Papa Gino’s to give four elementary school students a chance to pick up gifts for themselves and family members for the holidays.
“This was our opportunity to help a group of students in need have the happy holidays they deserve,” Downes said. “Students had a great time with officers, who generously donated their time to make the experience fun for everyone.”
Dunstable’s police union, the New England Police Benevolent Association, and the Groton Police Union Association, donated $100 to each child. Two students attend the Swallow Union Elementary School in Dunstable and the other two students are from the Florence Roche Elementary School in Groton. Target also matched the donation from the police unions. In total, each student had $200 to spend.
Officers took students, who school officials selected to participate in the program, to a free lunch at Papa Gino’s before heading out to shop. The event was organized and attended by Dunstable Officer Charles Chaprales, Dunstable Officer Nicholas Papageorgiou, Groton Officer Kevin Henehan and Groton School Resource Officer Rachel Mead. Dunstable Sgt. Darrell Gilmore, union president, facilitated a portion of the donation.
“We would like to thank Target and Papa Gino’s for making this day special for our students,” Palma said. “The event was a huge success and we look forward to recreating the experience next year.”
Chaprales, who began working on bringing the program to Dunstable and Groton over a year ago, hopes to expand the initiative next year to surrounding communities.