Caroline Optimist Club hosts Shop with a Cop
DENTON — Local law enforcement agencies spent Saturday, Dec. 17, Christmas shopping with Caroline County children at the Denton Walmart as part of the fifth annual Shop with a Cop program, hosted by the Caroline County Optimist Club.
Thirty children were paired with police officers from Denton police, Federalsburg police, Ridgely police, Maryland State Police and the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office. The officers
took each child around Walmart to do Christmas shopping.
The children selected presents for themselves and family members as part of the program.
The Caroline County Optimist Club raised the money with help from businesses and local organizations, including Walmart, Pizza Empire, Denton Fire Company, Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas, American Legion Post 29, Chesapeake Hydro-Wash, Towers Concrete, Denton Lions Club, Dave Davis, Ridgely Lions Club, Choptank Electric Trust, R&M Performance, WINX Radio Station, Denton Church of the Nazarene, Choptank River Yacht Club, Mr. and Mrs. Margrey, Ridgely Car Show, and Bruce and Barbara Collins.
“We appreciate all the civic organizations that support Shop with a Cop and the Caroline County Optimist Club,” said Caroline County State’s Attorney and Caroline Optimist Club member Joseph Riley. “We’ve had very generous donations through our sponsors.
“The Optimist Club is totally dedicated to children. We have a special opportunity to take some kids, who maybe this Christmas season will be a little rougher than others, and go out with local law enforcement to pick out Christmas presents.
“This also gives the children an opportunity to have a positive experience with law enforcement officers. This year, more than any other year I can remember, we really need to have that opportunity to show the community, the children, the next generation that a law enforcement officer is something more than someone who arrests people. They are out there protecting and serving the community, and we appreciate all they do for us.”
Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds participated in the event and said Shop with a Cop is special because all the law enforcement agencies get to work together for a great cause.
“It is a great time to get together for an outside event with all of the other law enforcement agencies,” Bounds said. “We work with them each day, and they all do such a great job. We are just proud to serve the Caroline County community together.
“We have a great group of men and women who serve the community in the different agencies. They enjoy coming out here with the children and help add some joy to the holidays. The Caroline County Optimist Club puts on an outstanding event for the children. We are proud to be a part of this outstanding cause.
“My favorite part is being able to interact with the children. It is a great chance to connect on a personal level. Seeing the amount of law enforcement out here today really makes me proud to be a member of Caroline County and serve the community.”
After officers and children completed their Christmas shopping, the children got to ride with the police officers to the Choptank River Yacht Club in Denton to wrap the presents and enjoy a pizza party courtesy of Pizza Empire.
“This is why this event is so important, because of the one-on-one interaction between the officers and children,” Riley said. “It is a special opportunity for the law enforcement agencies as well. I get a lot of law enforcement officers that tell me how much they enjoy doing this outreach because they get to see people with smiles on their faces.” Follow Caroline/Dorchester Editor Dustin Holt on Twitter @Dustin_StarDem.
Federalsburg police officer Jeff Adams helps wrap a Christmas present with a child during the fifth annual Caroline Optimist Club Shop with a Cop event in Denton Saturday, Dec. 17.
Caroline County Sheriff deputy Amber Thamert helps pick out a toy for a youngster during the fifth annual Caroline Optimist Club Shop with a Cop event at the Denton Walmart Saturday, Dec. 17.
Caroline County Optimist Club received donations from many local businesses, organizations and community members for the 2016 Shop With a Cop Program.
Maryland State Trooper Daniel Tilghman, left, and Federalsburg police officer David Hubbard help wrap Christmas presents during the fifth annual Caroline Optimist Club Shop with a Cop event in Denton Saturday, Dec. 17.
Local law enforcement officers help pick out toys for Caroline County children during the fifth annual Caroline Optimist Club Shop with a Cop event at the Denton Walmart Saturday, Dec. 17.
Maryland State Trooper Daniel Tilghman gives a youngster a ride in the Denton Walmart toy aisle during fifth annual Caroline Optimist Club Shop with a Cop event Saturday, Dec. 17.
Caroline County Sheriff deputy Ben Allen helps wrap a Christmas present with a child during the fifth annual Caroline Optimist Club Shop with a Cop event in Denton Saturday, Dec. 17.