Annual 'Shop With A Cop' program set
The Brazil City Police Department is preparing to provide some "Christmas cheer" for children of local families experiencing hardship for the ninth-annual "Shop With A Cop" program.
Police Chief Dave Archer said the program helped more than 30 families last year.
"We helped a lot of children last year, and we're hoping to include even more this year," Archer said. "With the economy being like it is right now, we figure there will be more children in need this year."
Although supported throughout the year by donations from local businesses, banks, organizations, churches and citizens, Archer said it's not too late to support the program.
Donations will be collected at the department until Dec. 1. Checks, made out to "Shop with a Cop," can be dropped by or sent to the Brazil City Police Department, 22 South Washington St. (basement office of the department), Brazil, 47834. Donations can also be made at any Riddell National Bank location.
Officers and staff members from the BCPD and the Clay County Sheriff's Department will work together to meet with children and plan their shopping trips to Walmart.
"Not only do the children, but the officers themselves look forward to this event each year," Archer said. "It's a great way for the two departments to promote goodwill and Christmas spirit in the community."
Although the first priority is to purchase needed winter clothing -- such as coats and shoes -- Archer said there's usually enough money left over to purchase toys and shop for small presents for parents or siblings.
Archer said the program helps build a relationship with the public now, and in the future. "If we work with our young people today," Archer said. "Hopefully they'll have a better feeling toward police officers tomorrow."
Where to sign up
Applications to sign up for the program are available now at the Brazil City Police Department, but must be returned on or before Nov. 27 for a child to be considered.
After applications have been checked against other local charity organizations, families selected for the program will be invited for cookies and punch and a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Riddell National Bank before going shopping. The dates for the two-day event have yet to be scheduled.