HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Santa’s elves were disguised as Trumbull County Sheriff’s deputies for the seventh annual “Shop with a Cop.”
Deputies, along with a few Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, shopped with 36 kids at the Kmart in Howland Wednesday night.
A special bond formed between Deputy Joe Jones and his new friend, 6-year-old Levi, during the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 137 event.
Jones told the boy he could get whatever he wanted, but Levi picked out a Wild West Deluxe play set complete with a sheriff’s hat and handcuffs.
Levi said he picked the toy because he wants to be a sheriff.
“That’s what you want?” Jones asked. To which Levi replied, “Yeah, so I look like you.”
Jones said it made him smile.
“You know, he’s a young boy. If I made a good impression on him, and that’s what we’re here to do.”
Deputies are trying to bridge the gap between themselves and kids in Levi’s generation, building a stronger relationship during a time when there’s such a divide.
Shop with a Cop creates lifelong memories for both the children and officers.
“Tonight will be a memorable experience for me, yes it will,” Jones said.
All of the kids left with big smiles on their faces.