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Thanking police for 2017

Law enforcement in Lawrence County has had a strenuous year.

While continuing to battle the opioid epidemic hitting Ohio, officers have also had to deal with multiple homicide cases, including the horrific quadruple murder in Decatur Township in October, which led to a two-day manhunt involving county sheriff’s deputies, local police departments and others pursuing and apprehending the suspect in the crimes.

Following such a year, it was great to see officers and deputies wrap up 2017 Monday night with a mission of goodwill.

The annual Shop With a Cop event took place at Walmart in South Point and, led by Sheriff Jeff Lawless, law enforcement personnel filled into the store, each accompanied by the children they were assigned to help.

The event helps to provide a brighter Christmas for families in need and is paid for by donations and through fundraisers throughout the year. Each child is given an allowance to shop for necessities, like clothing and bedding supplies, and then use the remaining money to pick out toys for Christmas.

Following the shopping trip, the children are then taken out for Christmas dinner at the nearby Ponderosa, where they also get to meet with Santa.

In addition to helping the needs of the families, the program also allows children to have a positive interaction with law enforcement and see the role they play in the community.

We commend all who helped make this event possible and want to thank the officers, not just for their good deed Monday night, but for the work and service they have provided to the county in helping to keep it safe in such a trying year.