Dec. 21 — Village of Warsaw Police Officer Nick Wright is flanked by school children who participated in the annual “Shop With a Cop” event at a local shopping center in Wyoming County.

Warsaw – There was a heavy police and fire presence early this morning at the Warsaw Central Elementary School in Wyoming County, with more than a dozen police cars and fire trucks lining the cul-de-sac in front of the main entrance. But their reason for being there had nothing to do with an emergency—it was all about giving back, building relationships and lifting holiday spirits.

It was the annual “Shop with a Cop” day, which pairs local students with village police officers and volunteers who shop for items like toys, clothes, school supplies and holiday gifts for others. After meeting up at the school, the students were treated to a parade like procession with lights flashing and sirens blaring as they made their way up Route 19 to a nearby shopping center.

40 children were selected to participate in the shopping spree, each receiving a $50 gift card and a high-five from a caring adult in a police uniform.

According to Warsaw Village Police Officer and CSEA Unit President Scott Kelly, the event is designed to build trusting relationships between children and the village police force.

Kelly said, “Officers sometimes go on emergency calls where things can go terribly wrong and be traumatic for young people. So, it’s really important for children to see us in a positive light.”

PO Sergeant Jason Linderman, who has been a CSEA member since 2007, says this event is very special to him and his colleagues in blue. “We have a great community here—all the money raised for the gift cards were donations from folks who really care about our children. It’s very heartwarming to bring smiles to their faces.”

Dec. 21 — Village of Warsaw PO Sergeant Jason Linderman helps a local student select a toy at the annual “Shop With a Cop” event in Wyoming County.

-Story & Photos by Ove Overmyer

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Ove Overmyer

Ove Overmyer is an award winning photojournalist and writer who has promoted the virtue of working people and the value of public service throughout his career. His work has been published by many well-respected international media outlets, including PBS Moyers & Co., Steward Update UCS Worker Institute Cornell ILR, CBS News, The Weather Channel, SCI-FY Channel, Associated Press and LOGO-TV. Before joining the CSEA Communications Department staff in 2015, Overmyer was a CSEA member employed by the City of Rochester and an officer of the union for more than 18 years. He covers a 14 county area of Western New York and lives in Rochester, NY.

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