Students shop with cops

Back-to-school event brings youngsters, officers together

DOUG LOYER Special to the Times Aadan Boice, 8 of Marietta looks at shoes with the help of Matt Hively.

Some area school children had the opportunity to shop with Marietta Police Officers Saturday morning at Wal-mart in Marietta during their Back to School “Shop with a Cop” Program. The F.O.P. (Fraternal Order of Police), Lodge 12 of Marietta, organized the event that helped students get some clothes and supplies needed to get ready to go back to school.

The Marietta law enforcement officers helped prepare the youngsters return to school by getting them clothing, shoes and school supplies. The Smart Style hair salon was also open if they wanted a hair cut. Shopping with a cop shows the students that police officers are their friends and are always willing to help. It was an opportunity for the children to have a good experience and build a positive relationship with law enforcement.

This involvement by the Marietta Police helps build a positive community relationship and it helps young people learn to trust the police officers and develop a better and more trusting relationship. This year there were seven to eight officers participating and 20-25 children.

“We’re able to do this because of all of the donations that we receive from the community,” stressed Detective and D.A.R.E. Officer Dianna Hively. “Donations to the F.O.P. come from individual people and businesses.”

“There’s obviously a need in our area and we find families that could use some help,” continued Hively. “The kids have fun with the officers and they get a lot of stuff. We have a lot of family oriented officers and they are really good about coming out and helping, being involved and being a part of this.”

“This is our second year of doing this,” said Sergeant Errol Kramer of the Marietta Police Department and President of the Marietta F.O.P. Lodge #12.

“Basically, we looked at the needs of the community and education is always a big thing,” said Kramer. “Police Departments in general are always behind education and encouraging kids to get a good education.”

“There is always a need in the area. Every year we try to get a different group of kids,” commented Kramer. “We get recommendations from the school system, the EVE Shelter and Children Services to try and find those with the most need.”

The F.O.P. Lodge 12 has multiple fundraisers throughout the year including a golf tournament. In addition to the Back to School Shop with a Cop, they also have other events such as the Shop with a Cop Christmas event, a summer pool party, the D.A.R.E. program and other events.

Aadan Boice, 8, of Marietta will be entering the third grade at Phillips Elementary this year. He thought that shopping with a cop was “pretty cool”. Aadan got some clothes and shoes and said he’s ready to return to school and looking forward to seeing his friends.

“I had never heard of this program before,” said Terri Hallowell of Marietta who was there with three children. “I think this is awfully generous of them.”

“The kids were so excited this morning, they were really looking forward it,” stated Hallowell. “They jumped right out of bed.”

“We’re from the Marietta Police Department,” said Police Officer A.J. Linscott. “It’s something that we’re happy to do. To give back to people in need. That’s what it’s all about. So many times we go out to work and it’s not positive, but this is. It’s nice for people to see us in a different light.”