Walla Walla ‘Cops and Kids’ give back to 27 families in need

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Every year law enforcement agencies in Walla Walla band together to give back to their community for the holiday.

The event, Cops and Kids, is a 24-yearlong tradition that gives underprivileged children and families an opportunity to experience a little joy around the holidays. This year, they were able to take care of 27 families for the holidays.

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But with the pandemic restricting in-person contact, the event needed to change a little.

“Normally we do it at Walmart, we’ll have breakfast with children and do some shopping,” said Walla Walla Code Enforcement Officer Amy Harris. “This year with COVID we had to change it up, a lot more pieces.”

Those pieces included organizing and coordinating with the families and officers ahead of time in order to safely deliver gifts.

Fortunately the Walla Walla County community stepped up too, donating almost $18,000 to fund everything from the Christmas presents to supplying basic needs like socks and underwear. The local Domino’s even provided free pizzas for each family.

Outside of community donations, all of the law enforcement agencies adopt a family. For Washington State Trooper Tanner Dennison, it’s important to take the extra time out of his day to give back families in need.

“This year’s obviously been a little odd as far as COVID goes and a lot of other issues that have been going on, so I’m happy that we can still keep the tradition going,” said Dennison. “Making sure that the families that need the help, families that still need the boost still get it this year.”

“This program was so much different this year, bigger, harder, but better and I’m just so grateful for not only all of my local law enforcement that have supported us through this but also our community, that they were just willing to continue to give, and we were able to help so many other families then we’ve ever helped before,” said Harris.

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