2017 "Cops and Kids" Shopping Spree - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

2017 "Cops and Kids" Shopping Spree

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85 children from the area were bused out to the Lima Meijer to join officers as they made a Christmas list for themselves and other members of their families 85 children from the area were bused out to the Lima Meijer to join officers as they made a Christmas list for themselves and other members of their families

For families in need this time of year, holiday shopping can be a little difficult - but thanks to local law enforcement putting on their annual FOP Cops and Kids event, the season is looking a little brighter.

85 children from the area were bused out to the Lima Meijer to join officers as they made a Christmas list for themselves and other members of their families, each family spending a limit of $200.  While it is a chance to help families with their Christmas, the shopping spree also helps kids become familiar with local law enforcement.

"We want the kids to realize that law enforcement officers are their friends, and we want them to approach officers if they are in trouble, if they feel afraid, if something happened - we don’t want them running away from us, we want them to come to us so we can help them," said Mike Watkins, President of Lima FOP Lodge #21.

Those that help out every year say that it's wonderful to see kids having fun, and even come back after a few years have passed.

"Even though I’m not particularly shopping with the children, I did for the first couple of years, then it got so big that I had to just start doing the supervision of it - but I still have kids come up to me and say that they remember me, they went shopping with me, or that they saw me at the shop with a cop, and that’s just warm and fuzzy," said Alan Mefferd, Financial Secretary for Lima FOP Lodge #21.

The day ended with the group returning to the FOP Lodge to wrap their presents and take home a bike for Christmas thanks to the "Barbers Give Bikes" program.

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