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‘Shop With A Cop’

Area Police Agencies Play Santa

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Bent Run Brewing Company is one entity financially supporting the “Shop With A Cop” program in Warren County. In the photo are, from left, Denise Caudill, Conewango Township officers Charlie Andersen and Randy Carlson, City of Warren officers Wade Suppa, Tiffany Dyke, Anthony Chimenti and Phil Caudill.

Most kids will go to sleep on Christmas Eve fully expecting and believing that Santa Claus will come and leave them presents.

For several kids in Warren County, that Santa figure is going to look a lot like a police officer.

Multiple agencies in the county are participating in “Shop With A Cop.”

The idea is pretty simple: Police are taking funds they’ve raised with this goal in mind and taking kids who are in need shopping this holiday season. They can shop for themselves or for family members.

Officers with the Conewango Township Police Department took three children in their service area shopping on Monday.

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Conewango Township Patrolman Charlie Andersen with a friend he took shopping on Monday at Walmart as part of the “Shop With A Cop” program. Several law enforcement agencies in Warren County are participating in the effort.

“It was fun,” Conewango Patrolman Charlie Andersen said, noting that one mom said “you just saved Christmas.”

City police will be taking kids shopping next Monday at Ollie’s. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Youngsville Police are involved as well.

The funds have come from a myriad of places.

The most visible place? Well, there’s a lot of officer facial hair in Warren County right now. The officers donate to be able to grow it out.

City of Warren Police Detective Anthony Chimenti said the city department’s donations for “No Shave November” went to the Children’s Advocacy Center but that December’s donations go to this effort.

Bent Run Brewing Company presented a donation to officers on Monday and funds have also been donated by Peterson-Blick Funeral Home. Andersen said Walmart donated the funds for Monday’s shopping and Napoli’s Pizza donated lunch.

Chimenti said anyone looking to donate to the effort can do so this week.

The idea behind “Shop with a Cop” goes far beyond blessing a few children and families at Christmas, though.

The officers view it as an investment in the future.

“That way, they don’t think we’re the boogeyman,” Chimenti said. “You can approach us…. We’re here to help. (We) want kids to know that.”

That’s not just a Christmastime initiative either.

“We go to the schools everyday,” he said. “The kids see us. They can say ‘Hi’ to us. It’s not a bad thing…. Little things like this show the public and kids we’re here for them.”

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