It’s not everyday you get to shop with a cop, but on Monday, that’s exactly what 40 area students from Muskingum, Morgan and Coshocton counties did.
Every year the Fraternal Order of Police Associates Lodge gives kids and teens a Christmas they may not otherwise get. They give each student over $100 to spend, team them up with law enforcement officers and send them shopping at Walmart to get whatever they want.
"The F.O.P. Associate Lodge collects the funds for this and then we get to go spend the money, we get to do the fun part and so the F.O.P associates helps out the F.O.P. Lodge and like I said, we get to come out, enjoy the kids and have some fun and burn up some of their money," explained K.C. Jones, a detective at the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office.
With the cold weather, Jones says most picked out warm clothes and shoes, and of course, games and toys. President of the F.O.P. Associates Lodge, Jim Hicks, says the event is not only aimed at making sure these kids get what they need this holiday season, but says it’s a great way to form a positive relationship between the youth and law enforcement.
"The kids love it, they’re happy, we give them a large candy bar at the end just to make an extra smile and they have their toys and their clothes and the kids are very happy, the officers are very happy. They love spending time with the children and it’s just a fun experience for everybody," said Hicks.
Shop With a Cop is funded through donations from the community. Both Hicks and Jones say the public is "instrumental" in helping make this event possible. The students were chosen by law enforcement and by area agencies.