Hiram, Brimfield police take kids shopping

By Rachel Hagenbaugh Staff Writer Published:

Seven families and 14 children recently participated in this year's "Shop with a Cop" program held by the Hiram Police Department.

The program paired underprivileged children in the area with a police officer from the Garrettsville or Hiram Police Departments to go shopping for themselves or family members at the Streetsboro Kmart.

"Our goal is that every child gets the chance to enjoy the holiday season," said Hiram Police Chief Ed Samec. "Seeing the looks on the children's faces makes our holiday season."

Samec said the program not only provides less fortunate families with a chance to enjoy Christmas, but it also builds a bond between children and the police departments.

"The "Shop with a Cop" program brings children and police officers together," he said. "It builds a bond essential to community policing."

After shopping, the officers took the kids to the Hiram Christian Church, where the staff provided dinner donated by the Garrettsville Subway, Hiram Gioninos and Hiram College.

"There should be no child that feels the sense of confusion and the feeling of going "without" during the holiday season due to poverty and financial strains," Samec said. "Our goal is to reach many more area families."

The Brimfield Police Department also held their "Shop with a Cop" program for the 12th year in a row for less fortunate children in the Field School District. Patty Harjung, administrative assistant for the department said the Applebee's at 220 Tallmadge Road donated breakfast to the 125 children that participated in the program. Afterward, chaperons and officers took the kids shopping at the Walmart next door, where they were given $100 to spend.

"It's such a blessing to see so many children so happy," Harjung said. "They love the attention from the officers."

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