Shop with a cop

Published: December 5, 2006 | 5148th good news item since 2003

With a boy or girl striding along beside them, uniformed Jeffersonville police officers slowly pushed shopping carts into the Meijer store on Allison Lane yesterday afternoon.

Inside, the officers and the kids quickly mapped out where they were going first, and turned to the right toward the shoes, coats and other clothing before checking out the aisles piled high with toys on the other side of the store.

All right man, you ready?” Cpl. Glen Jackson asked John Trumbo, 10, as they moved ahead. “Let’s go look at some shoes.”

John wanted to make one thing clear about what they would be doing later.

“I want the man toys, not the dolls,” he said.

“You don’t want a Barbie?” Jackson asked. John laughed.

They stopped so John could try on a red, black and gray winter coat. It fit. John liked it. They dropped it in the cart and walked toward a display of gloves.

It was the Jeffersonville department’s annual day for kids to “shop with a cop,” an event put on by several departments in Southern Indiana to make sure that families aren’t short of warm clothing and toys during the holidays.

[A Common Sense Guide to Raising Your Children: from a Cop's Perspective]

New Albany, for example, has scheduled its “shop with a cop” today. Sgt. Julie Condra, the coordinator, said 61 children will get a chance to get clothing and toys at the Wal-Mart on Grant Line Road.

Sgt. Rusty Settles, who organizes the annual shopping spree for the Jeffersonville department, said that families submit applications and that a range of factors, including income, are considered.

As an example, Settles said that some of the children live with single mothers who have decided to go back to school and don’t have ample resources this year.

In all, the department will shop with 58 children, the 33 who were escorted yesterday and 25 more today.

Each child receives $225 in clothes and toys, enhanced by a 20 percent discount at the checkout line from Meijer, said Charlene Harter, a service team leader for the store.

The money comes from contributions and a bingo game put on by Lodge 100 of the Fraternal Order of Police, Settles said before asking Koheleth Quarles, 5, “Are you ready?”

Koheleth nodded, adding that he was especially looking forward to checking out the remote-controlled cars and trucks.

There were similar scenes in almost every aisle, with civilians helping out the police force in a few instances.

For instance, Rebecca O’Daniel, whose fiance, Todd Wilson, is a Jeffersonville officer, was helping Chance Hasty, 7. He took a long time selecting a red baseball cap and then ended up getting a bike and a helmet as well as clothing.

Officer Keith Broady was assigned to assist Alexsia Rosado, 7. To make sure she was at ease, Broady’s sister-in-law, Danielle Richmer, came along.

As she walked down an aisle of toys, Kim Calabro, human resources director for Jeffersonville, was helping Chybria Quarles, 8, make selections that included a doll’s head complete with makeup.

Chybria said she’s a twin and that her sister is “older by 11 minutes.”

Settles said the shopping trip gives officers and the kids a chance to become better acquainted while the department does something good for the community.

“This is what Christmas is all about,” Settles said, “and we really have a good time with it.”

Published in Charity, Christmas, Cops, Kids & Teens
See also: www.courier-journal.com
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