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Summit County Officers Host Kids For 'Christmas With a Cop'

photo of Holly Reese, Adrian Mates
Adrian Mates picked out a levitating Spider-Man for himself while shopping during 'Christmas with a Cop' with Holly Reese from the Summit County Prosecutor's Office.

Over the weekend, more than 100 police officers from around Summit County participated in “Christmas with a Cop.” It was an opportunity for police to connect with underprivileged kids.

The kids got to enjoy breakfast with the officers before riding in their cruisers – complete with lights and sirens -- to Wal-Mart in Fairlawn.  Once there, each child received a $110 gift card to spend.  Detective Michelle Porter with the Summit County Sherriff’s office says it’s important to show kids that there are “people behind the badge.”

“I used to do patrol in AMHA [Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority] housing so I always made it a point to stop so the kids see you as a person [and] that we’re not just the bad guys showing up when something bad happens.  These kids may not ever see me again but if they do, they’re going to remember my name’s Michelle and I’m the one who took them shopping.”

About 130 kids were part of the event, shopping with officers from the University of Akron, Summa health System, Copley, Fairlawn and Akron.