Sidney — Seventy-five children got to go shopping with local law enforcement through the Shop with a Cop program on Sunday morning.
The family of law enforcement officers assisted Shelby County children during the 21st annual Shop With a Cop. Each child was given $150 to spend to help make their Christmas a special one.
Law enforcement officers from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Sidney Police Department, Ohio Highway Patrol and each of the village police departments assist with the program each year.
“We had 75 children participating this year,” said Vic R. Elliott, one of the organizers of the event sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Elliott is FOP vice president. Helping Elliot with the program is FOP trustee Deputy Bill Booth.
Each child spends $125 on clothes and $25 on toys, said Elliott.
Cyrenity Hatcher, 4, of Sidney, enthusiastically picked out new clothes Sunday while Sidney Police Officer Nick Zimmer watched her and smiled. Zimmer’s wife, Tiffani Zimmer, also came to help.
Cyrenity’s mom, Crystal Hatcher, said she is “the only one working” because her husband Michael Hatcher had to quit work due to an enlarged heart and a degenerative disk in his back. They have five kids.
“I think it’s a great program. She definitely enjoyed herself. Police officers get a bad rep, so it’s good that she sees that’s not the case,” said Crystal Hatcher. “It’s hard to get the extras. I can get the necessities but not the wants.”
Elliott said, “We think that a lot of people don’t have the resources for Christmas for the kids and this is our way of helping them during the year.”
The FOP raises funds for the program by calling the citizens and businesses of the county for donations.
“We want to thank everybody that donated; all the citizens of Sidney and Shelby County,” Elliot said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4820.