By Jeff Gallatin
Area law enforcement agencies will spread their annual holiday cheer Saturday with the Cops and Kids Shop with a Cop program.
Bill Saringer from Westshore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25, said the program will follow the same format as in recent years. The law enforcement chaperones and their youngsters will start with a breakfast at Chik-fil-A in North Olmsted. Restaurant operator Ken Ball and his staff have donated food and time to the event as well as other charitable causes in the area for several years.
After the breakfast, the police and children will then go in a long police procession to another longtime program participant, the North Olmsted Wal-Mart. At the business, the youngsters will be able to go Christmas shopping with $120 obtained through donations and assistance given to the program by a wide range of people and businesses. Afterward, the youngsters and law enforcement chaperones will again go in a procession to North Olmsted High School, where they will enjoy a pizza lunch from Frankie’s Italian Cuisine in North Olmsted and participate in a drawing for prizes.
Saringer said as ever, the officers, the participating businesses and the youngsters are anticipating the event.
“It’s something we all enjoy doing,” he said. “The reaction of the youngsters is great to see, and all the officers look forward to doing it as well. It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to bond with the youngsters and let them see a little of police officers in a fun setting for all of us.”
Area police and law enforcement groups participating include North Olmsted, Bay Village, Fairview Park, Rocky River, Lakewood, Olmsted Falls, Westlake, Olmsted Township, Avon Lake, Avon, North Ridgeville, Sheffield Lake, Sheffield, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and Cleveland Metroparks Rangers, as well as some state and federal law enforcement agencies.
He said the police also wanted to let people know about the procession of squad cars, which goes in with lights flashing and sirens sounding.
“We’re in the cars with the youngsters, so we’ll let them operate the horns and siren while we’re in there with them,” he said.