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‘Shop with a Cop’ event a success

THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST JAMES Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Cartmell devises a plan of action with Hailey Ellis, 6, upon approaching the toy aisle at Walmart Monday evening.

THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST JAMES
Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Cartmell devises a plan of action with Hailey Ellis, 6, upon approaching the toy aisle at Walmart Monday evening.

SOUTH POINT — Law agencies throughout Lawrence County worked together to make the 2014 edition of “Shop with a Cop” a hit on Monday.

“It’s a multiagency deal,” Sgt. Chris Smith, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said. “Different people from each agency come and help out.”

Several local law enforcement agencies were represented at the event.

“Some officers who are retired even come back to help,” Smith said. “We need as much help as we can get.”

The program partners law enforcement officers with less fortunate children from the county to shop at the South Point Walmart for necessity items such as coats, gloves, mittens, bedding and clothes, ending up in the toy section.

“It’s impressive to me to not only see law enforcement, but the whole community coming together for such a good cause,” Lt. Barry Call, of the highway patrol, said. “It makes Christmas more enjoyable.”

This year, “Shop with a Cop” helped 59 children.

“A lot of the kids are from a rough upbringing and have had bad experiences with law enforcement. Many are taught from a young age that police are bad,” Smith said. “It’s a way to interact with the kids in a good way.”

Deputy Sheriff Joyce Caskey feels the same.

“It’s just nice that the public can see us in a different light than some are used to seeing us in,” she said.

Not only is the program very beneficial for the children, but good for the officers involved as well.

“A lot of the time we are out on the road doing our jobs,” Smith said. “This is a way to just relax and spend time together off duty.”

County law enforcement agencies have been fundraising all year long for this event.

“This doesn’t happen overnight,” Call said. “It takes a lot of time and effort. Right after this we will start planning for next year.”

Donations and proceeds from raffle tickets and apple butter sales raised money for the program.

“Many individuals and local businesses made sizable donations for the cause,” Call said.

A 55-inch TV and a handmade Ohio State Buckeyes quilt were raffled off at the end of the program.

Dinner at Ponderosa was provided by City National Bank and Hall Funeral Home.

Bob Cremeans was with his two grandchildren at “Shop with a Cop.”

“This is the first year that we’ve done it,” he said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing.”