Dysart PD’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ shares holiday cheer

Fifth annual event

Officer Ray Brady, left, of the Dysart Police Dept. pictured on Tuesday, Dec. 7 in Waterloo with three of this year’s Shop with a Cop participants. Contributed photo

With today’s law enforcement environment, it’s crucial to invest in our youth and community members. This year, the Dysart Police Dept. was able to partner with several local businesses and community leaders to make our fifth annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ event a little more special. Following the school day on Tuesday, Dec. 7, we picked up eight students from the Dysart community and took them shopping in Waterloo where each individual participant was able to shop for both themselves and their family members with the help of a local law enforcement officer.

Following the shopping trip, our group came back to enjoy a fantastic meal in the Dysart Community Center provided by some of the best businesses you could have in any community. Bobby’s Grocery and BBQ, Harper’s Public House, KE Black Mercantile and LB’s Pizza provided delicious food, beverages, and treats for our group. The support from these local businesses shows the true meaning of coming together to make a difference in a community. A group of businesses who are not in it for the reward or recognition, but simply because they care. We cannot allow it to go unnoticed. We appreciate you, as does the rest of our community.

We’d like to thank Wal-Mart, Dysart Lions Club, and Connie Schlotterback for their generous donations towards our program this year. These organizations and community members are the driving force behind a successful program. Without their donations and support, we would not be able to conduct this event. We cannot thank you enough, you are sincerely appreciated.

Dysart-Geneseo Elementary Secretary Brenda Gardner is the backbone of this operation. For the past five years, she has gone above and beyond for this program. Brenda is an asset to both the Union Community School District and the Dysart Police Department. We are grateful for her services to our youth, community, and police department. Thanks for everything you do, Brenda, you are the best!

Special thanks to Officer Ray Brady of the Dysart Police Department, Deputy Travis Foster of the Tama County Sheriff’s Office, and K-9 Deputy Casey Schmidt of the Tama County Sheriff’s Office. These fellas make the job much more enjoyable, knowing they are in support of making a difference.

Dysart Police Department’s fifth annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ participants pose in the Dysart Community Center on Dec. 7 for a photo following their shopping trip with (back row, l-to-r) DG Elementary Secretary Brenda Gardner, Dysart Police Officer Jeremy Stenda, Chad and Jenna Scott of Harper’s Public House, Tama County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Foster, and Dysart Police Officer Ray Brady (second from right). Contributed photo

Programs like ‘Shop with a Cop’ work to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community by helping folks see us as regular people, just like everybody else. And if down the road you need us, remember, we’re here.

Dysart Police Officer Jeremy Stenda (left) pictured on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in Waterloo shopping with one of 2021's ‘Shop with a Cop’ participants. Stenda became a full time officer with the Dysart PD on Jan. 18, 2022. Contributed photo

Tama County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Foster (center) pictured on Tuesday, Dec. 7 in Waterloo shopping with two of this year’s Dysart Police Department ‘Shop with a Cop’ participants. Contributed photo