Shop With a Cop

Patrolman Glen Staley from the Fairmont Police Department helps David Dewitt try on a coat during the annual Shop With a Cop Friday .

When Crystal Hess of Fairmont learned that her two children would get to participate in this year’s Shop With a Cop, she expected they would be allowed to choose a couple of toys.

In actuality, 8-year-old Halyee and 2-year-old Jaden could each spend between $150 and $200 at Wal-Mart.

“I didn’t know it was going to be this much,” Hess said. “It’s been hard this year with a lot of things money-wise.”

With the help of area police officers, Halyee and Jaden along with other Marion County children are getting a better Christmas.

Shop With a Cop, held at Wal-Mart, started at 6 p.m. Friday and continues at 9 a.m. today. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 69 has sponsored the event for 10-plus years.

“It allows the public of Marion County and a lot of the children in Marion County to interact with the police,” Brian Shuck, president of Lodge No. 69 and patrolman for the Fairmont Police Department, said.

Each child, accompanied by his or her parent, is paired with an officer or staff member from the Fairmont Police Department or the Marion County Sheriff’s Department to pick what they want for Christmas from Wal-Mart.

For 10-year-old David Dewitt and patrolman Glen Staley from the Fairmont Police Department, the boys’ clothing section was their first stop on Friday evening. Staley helped Dewitt try on several winter coats to find the right size.

More than 50 kids from the county will participate during the two days. Half the children shopped Friday, and the rest will shop this morning. The list of participating children came from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program.

The kids were told to take as much time as they needed for their selections, but they were encouraged to make a shopping “wish list” beforehand.

Samantha Campbell, 8, had her list ready when she arrived at Wal-Mart. Outfits, DVDs, computer stuff and toys were a few things she had written down. She and her mom, Deborah Jones, started with the first item on her list: clothes. Patrolman Shuck added the price total as the mother and daughter placed articles in the shopping cart.

“Hopefully, we’re helping a lot of kids who otherwise wouldn’t have a nice Christmas,” Shuck said. “I think they all enjoy it.”

E-mail Jessica Legge at jlegge@timeswv.com.

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