Caro­line Op­ti­mist Club hosts Shop with a Cop

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT [email protected]­pub.com

RIDGELY — Lo­cal law en­force­ment mem­bers gave Caro­line County chil­dren a trip to the Den­ton Wal­mart to pick out Christ­mas presents as part of the sev­enth an­nual Shop with a Cop pro­gram, hosted by the Caro­line County Op­ti­mist Club.

About 20 chil­dren were paired with po­lice of­fi­cers from Ridgely, Den­ton, Greens­boro, Fed­er­als­burg, 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 the Den­ton Wal­mart, Pizza Em­pire, Sweet Caro­line, Ridgely Car Show, 404 Tap­house who hosted a fundraiser and Bath and Body Work.

“The in­ter­ac­tion with the com­mu­nity and the kids is great be­cause of the pos­i­tive in­ter­ac­tion law en­force­ment can give to the fam­i­lies,” said Mary­land State Po­lice Dec­tive Sgt. Keith John­son who also serves on the Den­ton Town Coun­cil. “It is im­por­tant to have that in­ter­ac­tion, not just for the com­mu­nity, but for us to get to know com­mu­nity mem­bers bet­ter.

“To spend time with them is great be­cause you get to see the joy they get out of hav­ing some time to go and give back to their fam­i­lies,” he said. “This is my fourth or fifth year with the kids, and each year I’ve had a kid that wants to get some­thing for their fam­ily rather than for them­selves. It shows you the great heart the kids have be­cause they al­ways want to help oth­ers.”

Af­ter of­fi­cers and chil­dren com­pleted their Christ­mas shop­ping, the chil­dren got to ride with the po­lice of­fi­cers to the new Ridgely Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment to wrap the presents and en­joy a pizza party cour­tesy of Pizza Em­pire.

John­son thanked Caro­line Op­ti­mist Club Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Ri­ley for or­ga­niz­ing Shop with a Cop.

“Hav­ing the Caro­line Op­ti­mist Club is a big ben­e­fit to the com­mu­nity,” John­son said. “They make a pos­i­tive im­pact. They help bring the com­mu­nity to­gether. They help kids from the en­tire county.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Mary­land State Po­lice Tfc. Wil­liam Bring­man, Za’din John­son and MSP Tfc. Gar­rett Graef wrap Christ­mas presents dur­ing Shop with a Cop at the Ridgely Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment Satur­day, Dec. 8.

Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Lt. Ron Dixon, right, helps wrap presents for lo­cal chil­dren dur­ing the Caro­line County Op­ti­mist Club Shop With A Cop event Satur­day, Dec. 8.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

About 20 chil­dren went Christ­mas shop­ping with lo­cal mem­bers of law en­force­ment dur­ing the 2018 Caro­line County Op­ti­mist Club Shop with a Cop event Satur­day, Dec. 8.

Am­ber Thamert, of the Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, helps wrap presents for lo­cal chil­dren dur­ing the Caro­line County Op­ti­mist Club Shop With A Cop event Satur­day, Dec. 8.

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