PICKAWAY – Pickaway’s law enforcement had their hands full today with almost forty children that were selected to shop with a cop today at the local Walmart.
One Circleville officer told Sciotopost that he came in today on his day off to be part of the event. “Civil duty, helping others, being community is why I became an officer.”
The day started with breakfast with the officers, and then they broke into groups, Pickaway sheriffs department, Circleville Police, Commerical Point, and Ohio State Highway patrol were all in attendance.
Those Agencies were at the location to assist children in finding some of the coolest toys on the shelves. One Ohio State Highway Patrol officer helped a young man in finding a special Pokemon called Pikachu. The officer told Sciotopost that he knew nothing about the popular toy, until today when he was fully schooled in the fictional creature and his friends.
The toy aisle was almost in gridlock with so many kids and officers in the isles that a lot of local shoppers stopped and took photos of kids with smiling faces.
Sheriff Hafey of Pickaway County Sheriff’s office said, ” It was great being a part of shop with a cop today at the Circleville Walmart. A big thank you to the Ohio State Highway patrol for organizing this year‘s event. It was great seeing all the kids that came out along with their families. It is awesome for law enforcement to have these positive interactions with the children of our community. So many times they only see us during traumatic events. We look forward to participating again next year and every year it is held. Thank you to all the agencies who came out today to support our children.”
In total 36 kids were served out of 40 selected,” Lt. Sellars Commander of Ohio State Highway Patrol explained, ” the other kids had a family situation where they lost their home to a fire, and we will use up the rest of the money and help them with some other things.”
Commerical point men’s club donated 1,000 dollars to the cause, Commercial Point Police Chief Jordan said that the group had a special meeting just this week to allocate the money, “some of the men in the group opened their own wallets and handed bills forward for the cause.”
In total 4,000 dollars was donated for today’s shopping spree, 1000 from the men’s club, 1,500 from Circlevilles Foundations for youth (donations from Amvets #2256, Circleville Eagles FOE #685, and Dunlap Foundation), and 1,500 from Ohio State Highway patrol who organized this year’s event.
Held every December, the program’s main service event pairs underprivileged and at-risk children ages 6-10 with a law enforcement officer for a shopping spree leading up to Christmas. The hope is that this experience of shopping for toys alongside Pickaway County’s finest will instill in each child a positive experience with law enforcement which will carry into their adolescence and adulthood. This event started in 1989 when a small group of officers quite literally passed around a hat and collected money to take a single child in need shopping for toys.