In Billings, from a shopping spree at Scheels to fun with lights and sirens with some of the city's first responders, 30 students are ready to get the royal treatment as they head back to school.
After a few successful years of treating kids to a holiday shopping spree, the Billings Police Department is expanding its Shop with a Cop program, launching its first ever back-to-school version.
"Our mission with Shop With a Cop is to just have a community interaction between the law enforcement community and the community that we serve here. Some of these kids might have had a tragedy recently in their life, they’re struggling financially or come from a background where they just don’t have good interactions with law enforcement, and we just want to pair them with an officer so they get a good experience with an officer, and also give them an experience where they are going to start the school year off with some confidence," said Sgt. Jeff Stovall, the department's Shop with a Cop coordinator.
For the kids, the event kicks off Sunday, Aug. 7 around 8:45 a.m. with a motorcade fit for royalty from MetraPark to Scheels. The public is invited to be part of it.
"If they want to line the streets and just wave the kids on. If they want to come down to Scheels here and wave the kids on and get them pumped up, we just want to make this seem like they are the biggest thing going on in town right now," Stovall said.
The back-to-school experience includes a $450 Scheels shopping spree, a backpack full of school supplies, lunch with an officer and a fresh haircut. And it's all thanks to donations.