(BEDFORD) – In an effort to make a positive impact on crime prevention in Bedford, the Stone City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 94 realized the need to build relationships between police officers and children.
One way to do that is to interact with the children of Lawrence County.
“The goal is to build strong relationships between children and the officers sworn to serve and protect them,” said Bedford Police Department Officer Kody Emmons. “We want the kids to be able to approach us anytime they see us… to feel comfortable and to always feel safe with us. One way to do that is with events like Cops for Kids.”
The event will be held at 8 a.m. on December 12th at Walmart in Bedford. More than 25 children will be paired with police officers to shop for needed Christmas items. Officers are given a list of student’s names from school officials and officers then reach out to their parents.
“Officers will assist the kid with buying winter coats, hats and gloves, shoes, and other needed clothing,” Officer Emmons added. “And of course they will get to purchase a special toy and visit with Santa.”
Things will be a little different this year because of COVID-19.
“We all will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing to keep everyone safe,” Officer Emmons added.
Stone City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 94 hosts other events to build bonds with children including sporting events, working with the children at the Boys & Girls Club, visiting schools, and just interacting with children in the community.
“For me, it’s important that children see me as not just a police officer, but as a person and a friend,” said Officer Emmons. “We want to ensure the community that we are part of them. This is critical for us to do our jobs. So anything we can do to strengthen that connection with the community and the children of Lawrence County is powerful. If we as police want to connect with the people, we must go and be with them, particularly the young people. We need to build bonds with them to protect all of our futures. Seeing children excited to receive a gift that they might never have or to have a warm coat on cold mornings is a powerful message that we care.”
None of these events would be possible without the generous donations from businesses and individuals.
“Thanks to Sipes Body and Glass, Inc and others for donating to the Stone City FOP 94,” said Officer Emmons. “What would we do without you!”
There is still time to help make a child’s Christmas bright and donate to other efforts. You can donate on the Stone City FOB website, or message Emmons on the Stone City FOP Facebook page or enclose your donation in a sealed envelope and address it to Officer Kody Emmons or Detective Drew Lemke and deliver it to the Bedford Police Department.