Christmas dreams do come true, thanks to the men and women in blue.
Wednesday evening, the Fraternal Order of Police held their annual Shop with a Cop initiative. The program aids chosen families in Portsmouth with holiday shopping, for whatever they need. Originally started in 2015 as an initiative to give back to the community by Officer Queen, Shop with a Cop has consecutively only grown. Officer Tim Stewart of the Portsmouth PD now leads the program and said it has only gotten bigger.
From its roots with Stewart and officer Queen, the program has grown to spread more holiday joy each holiday season. This year, helping more than 150 children from 50 different families makes it the largest and most successful yet.
Those that attended walked with a perpetual smile on their faces. The families were grateful as the children were mesmerized by almost anything an officer did. Several times throughout the evening an officer would have a child latched to their leg, thanking them for what they were doing. The officers and judges that helped were also delighted to be a part of the event.
“That’s the goal,” Stewart said. “We want to get bigger and better next year, more things to give back to the community.”
Officer Tiffany Hedrick, who was also part of helping the children pick out toys, shared, “We Love it. We come every year, and it’s awesome to see the kids excited.”
While the program has grown throughout the years, the program is not as known as officers would like, Hedrick said, they need more people to know about the event and hope for a greater outreach so that even more families may have a happy holiday season.
More programs are possibly in the works such as haircuts and a med clinic, so far, nothing is set in stone. Throughout the year, the PD sponsors various local youth sports, such as Little League and Cheerleading, a Halloween with the officers, and more.
“The PD and the community have always been able to come together and do what is best for the city, and we hope to continue that relationship.”
The PD and its wide array of help want to see Portsmouth even better. Several judges were in attendance with sponsored families. Judge Harcha, Judge Kuhn, County Prosecutor Tieman, Judge Lemons, and his staff were all in attendance helping give back to the community they already serve. Families and co-workers of the PD aided all night in seeing an enjoyable evening for each family. Sonora’s, Patties and Pints and Giovanni’s also sponsored the event by providing food for all the families that attended the event prior to shopping.
If donors would like to get involved in the events Stewart said to reach out to the department.
Reach Bailey Watts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-353-3101 Ext 1931
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