Community service: Soap Lake Tip-a-Cop connects police with local people in need
Soap Lake Police Department officers Trevor Jones, left, and Justin Rowland, in the Santa suit, wave at cars as they pass by the Tip-a-Cop event Monday.
Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald
Staff Writer | December 7, 2021 1:05 AM
SOAP LAKE — Soap Lake Police Department (SLPD) had its third annual Tip-a-Cop Monday at The Busy Bean.
The Tip-a-Cop event raises money for the Soap Lake Police Department’s Benevolent Fund, which is used to give back to the community.
“It’s to meet people’s needs all year long,” SLPD Officer Justin Rowland said.
He explained a couple of instances where SLPD dipped into the money to buy new bikes for kids whose bikes were stolen and never recovered.
The fund was also used during Thanksgiving, with support from the Soap Lake Senior Center and Akins Fresh Market, to provide 60 Thanksgiving meals to local families.
“I’ve always felt, and do believe, that the first great care of law enforcement is meeting people at their needs and taking care of them,” Rowland said.
An annual event the fund sponsors is Soap Lake Police Department’s Shop With A Cop for low income youth to go Christmas shopping with Soap Lake police officers.
SLPD Chief Ryan Cox said SLPD works with the Soap Lake School District to determine a select number of kids, usually five to six, to participate in Shop With A Cop each year.
Cox said the cost for Shop With A Cop is about $1,000- $1,200 per child to cover the gifts and dinner for the family of the child.
Rowland said one year, a participant asked Rowland if he (the child) could have a gift. Perplexed, Rowland asked what all the gifts they had already picked out were for. The child said all the gifts he picked out were for other family members and he wanted to know if he could get a gift for himself.
Rowland mentioned the point of the Benevolent Fund, Shop With A Cop and Tip-a-Cop events were to show the community the police department is there for them and police are not just there to write tickets.