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63 area kids 'Shop With a Cop'
NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - Wouldn't it be nice to go on a Christmas shopping spree? Well that is exactly what 63 area youngsters got to do Sunday morning, thanks to some local police officers. Members of the Utica Police Department began their "Shop With a Cop Day" last year, and this year New Hartford officers also got involved.
63 kids from in and around Utica received a friend for the morning to shop with, a police officer, and one hundred dollars to spend at the Target store at Sangertown Square.
63 kids at 100 dollars a piece, totals $6,300 dollars. That money was collected this year during numerous events like those held in the names of fallen Utica Police Officer Thomas Lindsey and fallen New Hartford Police Officer Joseph Corr.
Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said he and 30 of his officers gladly gave up their own time Sunday morning to make the holiday season brighter for some kids who need a boost, "Last year, that they had one little boy come through, he spent his entire money on his family, nothing for himself, you see something like that and it pulls at the heart strings."
New Hartford Police Sgt. Robert Philo says his department was glad to get involved in such a worthwhile event, "It's Christmas, and it's kids, and nobody wants to see a young child not have a great Christmas season, a fantastic Christmas morning, so you feel compelled to become involved in something like this."
Utica Police Sgt. Donald Cinque says events like these give kids the chance to see officers in a different light, "We also did the Thomas Lindsey baseball league and I see a lot of those kids and they see me and they recognize me, they recognize the other officers that coached them, and again it's that friend relationship, hey how's everything, how's school, it works out a lot better than oh, there's the cops."
The kids who participated were selected with the help of the American Red Cross, the Child Advocacy Center and Kids Oneida.