MADISONVILLE, KY (12/08/12)— The Fraternal Order of Police were assisted by the Madisonville Police Department (MPD) and Madisonville Citizens Police Academy Alumni (CPA) at Walmart today for the annual Shop with a Cop children’s Christmas program. SurfKY News went out to Walmart this Saturday morning where the children began their shopping spree at 7:30 AM.
MPD Officer Kelly Rager Sawyer and Hopkins County Probation and Parole Officer James Davis gave details on how the program works. The application process for Shop with a Cop began back in the Fall season. The program accepts children from infant to 16 years of age.
Rager, a committee member for the program, said that there are certain criteria the families must meet in consideration for Shop with a Cop, primarily with income classification and multi-program affiliation.
“We cross reference with other organizations that host similar programs to ensure everyone that applies is getting a fair chance and no one’s ‘double dipping’ because unfortunately there are some children who don’t get to participate in any of these programs, though we try to get every child who qualifies,” said Rager. She explained that the funds that pay for the shopping trip are divided amongst the children based upon the need. “There is a whole system for determining who gets how much,” she stated.
James Davis, of Hopkins County Probation and Parole made sure to mention the assistance received from the Citizens Police Academy, whose members were also present at Walmart this morning. Davis also made note of all of the contributions made by local businesses and the donations made by community members. He shared his gratitude for Walmart and for the CPA members as well as the rest of the community who donated. He stated, “Without all of the community support and the contributions from local businesses, which are too many to name, none of this would be possible.”
MPD Lt. Robert Carter added to the outpouring of gratitude for the community in stating, “Christmas is about the greatest gift there is, the gift of giving. It’s an awesome experience when we find Hopkins County citizens understanding that it’s better to give than to receive, and because of their generosity, these children were able to receive this Christmas. For that, we thank the community for their contribution.” Lt. Carter added that Hopkins County has more support for Shop with a Cop than any other county for the same program.
Sandy Brooks, Walmart Store Manager and CPA member, said, “We enjoy working with the officers and seeing the joy on the kids’ faces.” She stated that there were no restrictions on which parts of the store the children were allowed to shop.
MPD Officer Andy Rush explained that each participating police officer was appointed a child or number of children to shop for and remarked that he believes in other counties that host the same program, the officer goes to pick up the child to take them shopping, but that he appreciated having the child’s parent or guardian present so they could point out what the child really needs, and they can ensure the child isn’t buying anything that someone else may have already gotten them as a Christmas gift that the child just doesn’t know about yet.
According to Davis, there were 135 kids, and parents or guardians, who made it out for shopping this morning, followed by Santa visits at the Parkway Plaza Mall and a trip over to the Capitol 8 Theatre to see the movie, Rise of the Guardian. All of the children were excited and happy.
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