Officers gearing up for Shop With a Cop

Published 11:17 am Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Although Christmas is still more than a month away, members of Lawrence County law enforcement are already working to help less fortunate children have a brighter holiday season.

Annually, law enforcement from throughout Lawrence County work to raise money for Shop With a Cop, which is Dec. 15 this year.

The program takes funds raised and pairs less fortunate children with a uniformed law enforcement officer to shop for items at Walmart. Officers and the shoppers first shop for necessary items such as coats, gloves, hats and clothing. Once they have ensured the clothing items are purchased, the shoppers get to pick out their toys of choice. This is an effort to brighten their holidays as well as give the children a positive interaction with officers.

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Way too often, children only have negative interactions with officers when their parents or family members are arrested. The goal of the program is to show the children that the officers are their friends, not the enemy, organizers say.

In 2013, the program was able to assist 48 children throughout the county. This year, the goal is to help 75-plus children.

Currently, all law enforcement agencies, court personnel and probation departments in Lawrence County are selling homemade apple butter and raffle tickets for a chance to win a 55-inch flat screen television or a handmade Ohio State quilt. The raffle drawing will take place during the “Shop with a Cop.”

Apple butter is being sold for $8 a quart and the raffle tickets are $5 each. Anyone wishing to purchase apple butter or a raffle ticket should contact Lawrence County law enforcement.

The 2014 Shop with a Cop event starts at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Walmart in South Point. All shoppers and families will be treated to dinner with a visit from Santa Claus at Ponderosa in South Point following the event.

Personnel from all agencies involved have spent their spare time peeling and preparing apples and cooking more than 850 jars of apple butter to sell for the fundraiser. All officers involved are volunteering their time to help with the event.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the event can contact deputy Joyce Caskey of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 740-532-3525 or Trish Scarberry of the Ohio State Highway Patrol at 740-377-4312. If you wish to sponsor a child for the event, you can do so by making a donation of $225.