• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

'Cops for Kids’ help 100-plus have a merry Christmas

Officers from the Versailles Police Department spent Saturday morning shopping with underprivileged children – and part of the evening with them and Santa Claus. The older children got to shop for their presents at Kmart in the morning, while the tykes got theirs that evening at the American Legion Post. In all, more than 110 children received presents and treats courtesy of the department, which raises money throughout the year for the annual program. “It went great,” said Officer Anthony Conner, the program’s treasurer and a 15-year veteran of the department. Officers picked the kids up at their homes in their police cruisers and brought them to Kmart to let them shop for their own gifts and eat doughnuts. The younger ones were handed their presents by Santa at a pizza party at the American Legion. Conner said around $16,000 was spent on the event, which was paid for by private donations and fundraisers like the Cops for Kids car show, Cops for Joggers and a dunking booth at the Twilight Festival. “Honestly, if it weren’t for a lot of the businesses around here just sending us money, it would be really hard to have the program,” Conner said. While the Cops for Kids program is designed to help children who might otherwise find little under their Christmas tree, a perhaps-more important goal is to show them that police officers are their friends. “Ninety, ninety-five percent of the time, if citizens have an interaction with the police, it’s always something bad, something’s happened – a break-in, or something’s stolen. So this is a way for us to turn around and do something good, let them know we do good things, too,” Conner said. “You can just see the smile on their faces when they come in.”

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