NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University Police Department officers may not live at the North Pole or have long beards, but they are still able to help area children have a happy holiday season by participating in Shop with a Cop, an SFA and Nacogdoches County effort.

Shop with a Cop, scheduled for Dec. 10 at Walmart, is geared toward creating positive relationships with area law enforcement officers by providing a fun-filled shopping event for deserving children this holiday season.

“Through sponsorships and donations, area law enforcement officers spend time with chosen participants and grant their holiday gift list wishes,” said John Fields, chief of SFA’s University Police Department. “The officers volunteer their time and businesses and individuals sponsor the event. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

SFA faculty and staff members contributed $1,000 toward the effort, matching the $1,000 donation from Walmart. Fields said the support from the community will allow participants to have an extra special holiday season.

The department has identified 12 participants who will each receive $150 to shop with their parents and UPD officers at Walmart.

“Nacogdoches County’s poverty rate is 30.9%, according to the U.S. Census,” Fields said. “The national average is 13.1%. There are going to be many, many area children who are left out this holiday season. We want to decrease that number while also building good relationships among our fellow citizens. Shop with a Cop can help several area children’s Christmas be brighter.”

For more information about this event, contact Erika Colegio, SFA’s UPD administrative assistant, at (936) 468-2607 or email