GEORGETOWN, Ohio -- Fifty-five needy and deserving children throughout Brown County are getting treated to a fun-filled day alongside a police officer Tuesday as part of the annual Shop with a Cop Day program.
The Brown County Peace Officer's Association started the tradition in 2010 with just one officer, Mike Dearing, and one child. It's grown to include over 17 law enforcement agencies spending more than $30,000 to help kids have a merry Christmas.
Each year, all Brown County schools are asked to identify children for this once-in-a-lifetime special day. Each selected child spends the entire day with a uniformed police officer and an accompanying chaperone. Between events the selected child sits in the front passenger seat of the police cruiser, and the vehicle's lights and sirens are activated from place to place.
The day starts with breakfast at the Country Inn Restaurant in Mount Orab and then shopping at the Hillsboro Wal-Mart, where each child gets to spend $500 to buy Christmas presents for their entire family.
After shopping, the day continues for the child with lunch at Dakota's Roadhouse restaurant. After lunch, the child then plays arcade games and watches a movie at Star Cinemas in Hillsboro. That's followed by a trip to the Georgetown Church of Christ, where they will be assisted by volunteers to wrap all the presents for their family. They'll also get LaRosa's pizza for dinner.
On Christmas Eve, the uniformed police officer who accompanied the child will deliver the wrapped presents and a full holiday meal to his or her family.
Funding for the Shop with a Cop program is provided by the generous donations of hundreds of individuals and dozens of businesses throughout the year. Dozens of law enforcement officers donate their time and energy toward the fundraising process throughout the entire year. In particular, the Brown County Peace Officer's Association is extremely grateful for its corporate sponsors of LaRosa's Family Pizzeria and the Country Inn Restaurant in Mount Orab and Dakota's Roundhouse Restaurant, Star Cinema and Wal-Mart in Hillsboro.
Fundraising for the 2018 Shop with a Cop Day program has already begun. Interested individuals and businesses are asked to contact Jessica Roush of the Brown County Prosecutor's Office regarding making a future donation. Roush can be reached at 937-378-4151.
The following police agencies will be participating in 2017's Shop with a Cop Day program:
Aberdeen Police Department
Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force
Brown County Prosecutor's Office
Brown County Sheriff's Office
Georgetown Police Department
Hamersville Police Department
Higginsport Police Department
Highland County Sheriff's Office (Highland County)
Hillsboro Police Department (Highland County)
Lake Waynoka Police Department
Mt. Orab Police Department
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife